I provide career counseling in South Florida. It’s a natural sauna here, almost year round. I understand that it is hot, as I have lived here almost my entire life. However, if you want to be treated like a professional, you need to dress like one and act like one too! (Oh boy, I am really starting to sound like my mother!)

My candidates and students regularly argue with me about why they don’t want to wear a suit. Notice, there is no blog article entitled “Top 5 Reasons Not to Wear a Suit.” That is not a coincidence!

When I speak at job fairs, I see people dress all kinds of ways, from business suits to jogging suits, to (please believe me, although I was quite shocked) bathing suits! After I speak at these engagements, many times I read comments following the fair about how employers didn’t want to meet with you or give you the time of day. Perhaps, that’s because you did not create the impression that you wanted to be hired at a glance, by putting on the damn suit! If you are not dressed to be in management for your initial interview, when it comes time for promotion, you will be overlooked due to creating a less than impressive first impression.

At one speech, I asked if anyone would take me seriously as a subject matter expert if I were wearing jeans and flip flops. Not one person raised their hand. When I explained that I had worked from home for some time, and that was typically how I dressed for work, it still did not change their mind. Because…wearing a business suit establishes a level of visual credibility. (This does not mean it is the only reason you will get hired).

Men, that means a tie. Women, that means pantyhose. It sucks. I wear them too. Because, I like getting hired! And I like getting promoted even more!

 


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