Working with college students is one of the things I really love about my job. Students love asking questions. They see the value of presenting themselves in the best possible light especially as they interview for internships and paying jobs. They want to know not only what is acceptable for an interview but also what is expected once they land the job. Whether they end up at an investment bank or start up company, they understand that in addition to their education and experience, they need to also look and act the part. Fitting seamlessly into an organization and supporting a company’s brand image is an important component of career success.
Tips for a winning image:
If you interviewing for a job or internship, research the company to find out what the company’s culture, environment and brand are like. Go online and find photos of executives and dress accordingly. Your goal is to demonstrate the unspoken rules of professional dress and mirror the culture.
Wear a suit or coordinating separates in high quality fabrics and dark colors that fit your body shape and size. You want to appear well dressed, genuine and comfortable. Remember, it is business first and fashion second. Of course if you are interviewing for a position in fashion or publishing then you’ll want to demonstrate your sense of style.
Not all clothes fit perfectly off the rack. You’ll need to make a minor investment to look your absolute best. Tailoring your clothes makes all the difference. You’d be surprised at how many people notice when your clothes don’t fit. Jacket sleeves, and pant and skirt hems need to fall at the right place for you to look polished and professional.
Pay attention to key details such as polished, updated and well-kept shoes, manicured hands and accessories. Investing in your image tells others you are worth their investment.
Brush up on your business and dining etiquette. Appropriate behavior speaks volumes especially if you are a newbie to the corporate world. Some interviews are conducted over lunch or dinner. You don’t want to be caught off guard.
Be courteous to everyone you meet during your visit to the company, especially the receptionist!
Watch your body language. It can sabotage your success without you even knowing it.
Turn your iphone off before your interview. Your interviewer doesn’t want to hear your text alert going off.
Keep jewelry and watches understated. They should enhance your look, not detract from it.
For the interview and beyond: Look like you care! A professional hairstyle is essential for both men and women. Facial hair on men should be well groomed. Women, wear make up that complements your complexion and completes your look.
Dress a notch above your peers. You’re not expected to dress at the level of your manager or your manager’s boss but your are expected to look professional enough that they can put you in front of a client or senior executive.
Good luck and let yourself shine!!