Monday, February 20, 2012

The Do's and Don'ts of Dressing Professionally

When we are stressed about an important professional development event, the way we dress can take a back seat to other worries. The importance of our resumes can take over, but do not worry about your resumes. The Career Center is here to help on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm to 4pm (you can also come on Fridays by appointment – call 631-632-6810 to book a slot!). You will meet with one of our wonderful Career Center counselors and review your resume so that you can be represented in the best possible light. Carrying ourselves professionally can be a difficult and intimidating task for some of us, but following these quick do’s and don’ts should help you secure a job or internship!
Dress Professionally
Do not worry that you are overdressed. This is not a problem and can only set you apart from other candidates who decided to not dress up.
Dressing professionally for women:

If wearing your hair down, make sure your hair is not distracting you (e.g. will you be twirling your hair in your fingers?)
Do wear a black suit.
It is also appropriate to wear your hair in a classic up do. This creates a polished first impression.
Do wear a light colored suit.
This outfit would not be appropriate for the Stony Brook job fair. Below are the reasons why it would not be appropriate.
Do not wear high heels with open toes.
Do not wear short skirts.
Do not show cleavage.
Do not wear noisy and flashy jewelry (e.g. hoop earrings and bracelets).
Warning: Subtle differences like the ones shown above can be the difference between dressing professionally and dressing casually. The Stony Brook job fair requires dressing professionally.

Places for women to shop when looking for professional clothing:
Going from most expensive to least expensive:

J. Crew
Mandee (use some caution when shopping at Mandee; this store also caters to women going clubbing)

Dressing professionally for men:
I came across this cartoon, and it pretty much covers how a man should dress for any professional occasion. For the Stony Brook job fair you should follow the formal business attire. (This cartoon contains a typo “acceptible” that should be “acceptable”)

Do not wear a vibrant nail polish color (especially red nail polish; it can be too provocative for employers).

Do wear different colored suits (these are some acceptable looks).
DO NOT wear white socks with dress shoes. Wearing white socks contrasts with the suit. If possible, wear the same color of socks as of your suit pants.

Do not wear sparkly nail polish, because that will make you look childish.

Can anyone tell what is wrong with the picture above?
Do not have scuffed shoes (not shined).
Do not let your pants drag on the floor.
Do not leave your shirt untucked.
Do not have unpressed clothes.
Do wear a suit jacket.
Do Comb hair.
Do shave.

Places for men to shop when looking for professional clothing:
Going from most expensive to least expensive

Karako Suits
Banana Republic

Have a professionally looking hands and nails:
Leave a good impression with the recruiter you were talking to in the job fair by shaking their hands. The recruiters will notice if you have sweaty hands so if you know you get nervous and your hands sweat, make sure you discretly wipe your hands before shaking hands with anymore. Also make sure your hands look and feel their best. Your hands should be moisturized; your nails should be clean and an appropriate length. There is a lot that can be said about someone just by looking at their nails.
Do not have dirt under your nails.
Do not keep your nails lengthy.
Do not have chipped nail polish on.

No designs or intricate nail polish creations; looking professional calls for simplicity.

Do wear nude nail polish colors, or clear nail polish also works.

How to do your makeup for a professional occasion:
Less is more when it comes to makeup. Too much make-up can be distracting to your potential employer. If you have skin discoloration and dark circles, foundation and concealer can be used to correct those problems. The eye makeup can be as simple as curling your eyelashes and putting on some mascara.  When it comes to the lips, keep it simple and moisturized with some LipBalm.
Also watch this makeup tutorial by Miss-Chievous; she is famous for her makeup tutorials on YouTube:

Other Tips
Do not chew gum; use mints to refresh your breath instead.
Do not bring your backpack.
Do not wear strong perfume/cologne.
Do wear a watch (don’t rely on your phone for time.)

Posted by Aline De Jesus
Career Counseling Intern
Spring 2012

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