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Friday, July 23, 2010

Dress for Success, the old fashioned way

There are several things that go into making a good work ethic. Things that over time individuals learn to either do well or not do at all. One of the major aspects that is often over looked is dressing for success. On the day of the interview everyone dresses in their Sunday finest. The suit is pressed; the tie matches, the dress, hose and appropriate shoes are worn.  Why is it that one the day of the interview people can remember to look their best but on the first days after the dress code slips? I know that often times there are businesses that are business casual, or that are business attire all the time or even that are jeans and polo’s.

It is important to read the policy and procedure manual, ask the bosses, manager or supervisor what the style of dress is for the business. I tell my participants that it is imperative that they know how they are required to dress, even though I still get the ones who have their pants below their cheeks, and the halter tops are out in full force due to the heat. There are a few simple rules to dress like you are a professional:

  1. Suits are often necessary in a business world. It is important to remember that the suit jacket and tie must be worn, no short sleeve shirts under that jacket. Make sure the suit is pressed, cleaned and not smelly from anything. If sweat is a problem then carry a bottle of Febreeze with you.
  2. Business Casual means nice pressed khaki’s and a button down shirt. It might also include a tie but that is for the manager to decide. It means dress shoes and not sneakers. It means dressing down but not sloppy or exposing.
  3. Dresses, skirts and tops are another place to pay attention. Ladies if the shirt is to small and the buttons are going to pop, then that is not the shirt to wear. If it is low cut or close to exposing anything that also is not a shirt to be worn to a job. If it is a shirt you would wear out to the club, I am sure that is not work appropriate. Lastly here is a skirt suggestion.    Sit on the bed or in a chair or anything in front of a full length mirror, look into the mirror and see if you can see anything that others do not need to see. It is not appropriate to wear something that shows your undergarments.
  4. Casual dress even has it’s rules. Casual Friday might mean you can wear jeans, but only on that Friday. On the first day of the job make sure you walk in if not business casual then professional. Let the boss tell you that you can wear jeans and sneakers daily. Do not assume, find out the rules.

If you are an intern at a business and you are hoping for a job at that company I would suggest either professional or business casual only, even if everyone else is wearing jeans. It shows you as a professional and that you are dressing for the job that you want. Remember that when you interview for a job, you can sort of tell what the dress code is in the business but it is more important to ask the boss what the code is so you do not come into work when all the corporate clients are there in their suits and you show in jeans.

Dress for success means dressing at or above the norm, Dress for the job you want not necessarily for the job you have, this will only help you succeed in the long run. To be a professional you first have to look and act like one.

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