Dress For Success

Dress for Success

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Women
Professional Dress Tips:
Many women swear by a navy skirt suit, pearls, and pumps, and recruiters of all stripes seem to agree that a candidate can’t go wrong with a well-tailored suit in a neutral color (black, navy, or gray are your best bets). At more conservative companies-such as investment banks and consulting firms-a skirt suit is de rigueur, and anything other than non-textured nude hose and heels is pushing the envelope of what’s acceptable. Otherwise, a tasteful pantsuit with medium-heeled leather loafers will look put-together and professional. If ironing stresses you out, a silk or fine-gauge wool sweater shell can replace a button-down shirt and remain wrinkle-free under a suit.  Ladies, please keep your make-up to a minimum and avoid flashy jewelry.

Men
Professional Dress Tips:
For men, a suit in a dark neutral color, a white or blue dress shirt, and a silk tie in a conservative pattern should do just fine for most interviews. Stick to natural fabrics, like wool and cotton. “Well-heeled” generally implies a pair of polished, not ground-down-at-the-heels leather shoes in black. Beyond that, wingtips send a more conservative signal, while shoes with lug or platform soles are more funky than professional. Don’t fall victim to the white-socks-with-dress shoes syndrome that plagues many unfortunate men, be sure that your trouser socks pass the elasticity test, so that they don’t sag around your ankles midway through your interview (along with your chances of landing the job).

Final Touches
When in doubt, it’s better to err on the formal rather than on the casual side of dress. In general, you want to wear the best that you can afford and be impeccably turned-out, showcasing your natural attention to detail. Save your perfume and cologne for dates, but don’t leave home without deodorant. If this is too much to remember, at a minimum, recruiters say kempt hair and clean hands are absolutely requisite (You’ll thank us for this when your interviewer reaches out to consummate your job offer with a firm handshake).

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