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Dress for Success

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. You only have one chance to make a first impression and the way you present and carry yourself is critical to your confidence and performance in an interview setting.”

-Fashion Industry Recruiter

First impressions are important. In fact, it has been said that interviewers make a decision in the first few minutes of meeting a candidate. So develop a strong handshake and a genuine smile. In addition, pay attention to you appearance! Did you know that 75% of recruiters believe that how you dress affects your job, salary, and possible promotions. (Yahoo! HotJobs Research)

Dressing for Success — Tips for All Identities

  • Suit: Two piece, classic suit of a dark or neutral color. Pants should be an appropriate length.
  • Skirted suit: should be an appropriate length
  • Shirt: Solid light color
  • Tie: Solid, Striped, or Geometric patterns
  • Shoes: Closed toe, reasonable heel height; Dress shoes (no tennis shoes or sneakers)
  • Jewelry: Simple
  • Hair: Neat and off of your face; Facial hair should be clean and well-groomed
  • Nails: Clean, trimmed; Manicured
  • Perfume or Cologne: Should be light. Some people have allergies to strong perfumes. 
  • Hosiery: Sheer, neutral color

Advice for the Queer Community

Know your audience: Are you interviewing with a conservative organization, a more creative one, or a nonprofit organization? Do research on the company and find out their policies regarding LGBTQ protections. This may give insight into the culture of the organization. 

Know yourself: If a company is going to reject you at the interview stage based on your choice of professional dress, is that a company you want to work for? 

Regardless of sexual orientations and gender identities, there are several general rules that you should follow. See the above lists for these general rules. (Your Queer Career, Riley B. Folds, 2013). 

Additional Resources: