Job hunting is no easy feat and the pressure to impress future employers can go through the roof. More so, the task of putting together the right outfit is as vital as the interview itself. The moment you walk through office doors or enter a video call, the right look will make all the difference. Think of it as the first step towards getting your dream job!
Depending on what industry and type of job you are applying for, your outfit choice may vary. With the latest changes in the global landscape, recruiters from all sorts of companies shift their gears towards more remote settings. This brought about the preference for a more casual–and understanding–environment, even in the first stages of recruitment.
Whether you’re applying for a position in a start-up company or renowned corporation, there will always be an implied dress code, if not deliberately instructed. Need a little inspiration to make the best impression possible? Lucky for you, we’ve broken down the most essential elements to dress for success.
As earlier stated, no matter what company you apply for, the bottom line is to look neat. Most recruiters may require applicants to wear business formal attire but in cases where dress codes aren’t implied, this attire option is the safest.
Business formal is often regarded as the most polished dress code. It makes you look professional and gives the impression that you are cognizant of the role you’re applying for. However, even the safest of choices still requires structure and balance:
- Slacks or formal trousers that hover just above the ankle will lengthen your legs and make you appear taller.
- Pencil skirts that fall just slightly above the knee outline your figure if you have a curvier silhouette.
- Pair your bottoms with a neutral-coloured bodysuit and layer it with a blazer. Neutral colours work the best, especially if you like to play around with colours. However, stick to a monochrome palette for this attire option.
If you want to take things down a notch, there is always another safe (but fun) attire option for you: business casual. This dress code is one of the most preferred options apart from business formal because it blends professionalism and personality. In the simplest of words, business casual is less formal but still incorporates businesslike elements to an outfit.
This keeps the professional impression intact, but spares you from the ‘too polished’ structure. This attire is best worn for slightly casual interview settings like a video chat or if you’re meeting your employer (or potential client) in humbler surroundings than an office.
- Remember that blazer we mentioned? Swap it for a cardigan or neat sweater!
- There is more freedom with colour here so play it cool with lighter or pastel hues.
- Trousers or pencil skirts will be a defining element for professionalism so stick to them and make sure they match your top!
- Heels are preferred in this attire option.
Are you more of a laid back type? Don’t worry! There are plenty of ways you can impress employers without having to dress over the top. This depends on the setting, however, since job positions and expectations vary.
Smart casual is closer to what we call ‘everyday wear’, except that corporate elements still give off a cleaner and sharper impression than a regular outfit. Here, instead of using slacks or pencil skirts, you might want to pair a nice dress shirt with a pair of flattering jeans.
Even if the company you are applying for vouches for a casual interview, you might want to skip the sweatpants and basic tee for now. Smart casual is self-explanatory: you want to look AND feel good.
- Pair skinny denim or chinos with a nice button-down shirt or blouse and throw in a blazer.
- Bodysuits also work for this outfit. Just make sure you’re not showing off too much in the neckline.
- Heels or flats are great footwear options under this dress code.
- Tuck your shirt or blouse to look neater.
The bottom line:
Overall, the right outfit won’t guarantee a job offer but it will set the stage for you to impress your potential employer or client. Never forget that the way you dress almost always reflects your character. If you think you have what it takes to do the job, you must at least dress the part!
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