Recently, I was conducting a speaking engagement at a job fair and asked the group who would take me seriously if I were presenting in jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops. Not one person raised a hand. I then advised them that I often used to recruit high level accounting executives wearing that (or pajamas) while in my house. Even though I am a subject matter expert, I would not have been taken seriously wearing less than a business suit! So, I wondered: why are people in my audience dressed casually when they are looking for work?

Living in South Florida probably does not bode well for the traditional business suit. I should know: I only own 2 of them. Yes, I go on multiple speaking engagements in one of 2 beige business suits. Crazy, right? I interview in one of 2 suits, again, both beige. And if I have a THIRD interview with a company, I am going to need to go out and purchase a business suit in a different color. (I probably should the next time I see a sale!) Here’s the thing: I only wear suits  a few times a year, usually for quarterly business meetings and for speaking engagements. And on interviews. ALWAYS on interviews!

Even if you have casual Fridays at the job for which you are interviewing, you want to be seen as the consummate professional! Today, you may be interviewing at an entry level, but if you want to be viewed as someone who grows with an organization, dress for the position you eventually want!



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