Dress to Impress at a Job Fair
If you’re planning to attend a job fair where the dress code specifies “business casual,” do you know what you should wear to make the best possible impression on a potential employer? If the information states interview attire, you will want to go for a more formal look, but if the event is being held on campus or involves attendees viewing a presentation, then it’s perfectly appropriate to show up dressed in business casual attire.
Women’s business casual attire
Skirts or slacks
Your business casual look should start with either a pencil skirt or a pair of dress slacks. If you decide to wear a skirt, knee-length is best. While you want your clothing to fit well, make sure that the pieces you choose are not too tight. Check them over carefully to make sure that you don’t have any loose threads or falling hemlines that need to be dealt with before the event. You don’t necessarily have to stick to neutral colors like black, brown, navy or khaki when you are going to an information session.
If you are applying for a job in a creative field, you can wear something that is a little brighter if you wish. For a position in a more conservative field, such as banking or law, you are probably best to stick to a more subdued look.
Shirt or Sweater
Choose a tailored shirt or blouse, sweater set or tailored knit sweater for this type of event. Cotton, silk or blends are good fabric choices. Stay away from anything with a “V” neck or that has a sparkly or shiny appearance. You don’t want to look as though you are dressed to go to a party instead of a job fair.
Shoes and hose
Your footwear matters when you are going to a job fair. Wear quality leather or fabric shoes. Your best bet is to opt for a conservative look and keep your toes covered. In hot climates, hose may not be expected, but you may opt to wear them if you are applying for a job in a conservative industry. In colder climates, your best bet is to err on the side of dressing conservatively and that means wearing hose.
If you are attending a business casual event, carrying a small purse or a tote bag is the appropriate choice. Your purse or bag should coordinate with your shoes. Choose one with some structure to its design and avoid a purse that looks floppy or messy.
Use a light touch with your makeup on the day of the job fair. The idea is to look polished and professional when attending the event, so don’t experiment with any new colors or application techniques when getting ready to meet a potential employer. Take your lip gloss with you for a touch up before you enter the room where the job fair will be held.
Dressing appropriately for a job fair or an information session will help you feel confident when you step out to meet with potential employers. You’ll make a great first impression, which can lead to that all-important invitation for an interview.
Article by Sophie Eagan. These are just a few tips to help women decide what to wear for an interview. Don’t forget the handbag too. I mostly go with a black leather one as it looks better when wearing a suit with a skirt or trousers. Handbags can be a tough one to choose but you do not want one that is extremely colorful and stands out too much.