Dress to Impress: A Guide

Use your appearance as a professional tool in an interview and the workplace

Group of people dressed in professional attire.

A significant part of a hiring decision is based on nonverbal elements in an interview–handshake, eye contact, body language, posture, listening skills, clothing, grooming and accessories. Don’t overlook the power of a good first impression. People make amazing assumptions about your professional credibility and potential performance based upon your appearance during a first meeting. It’s very difficult to overcome a poor first impression, regardless of your knowledge or expertise.

To be successful, research and practice for the interview and carefully plan the professional image you want to project. If you come to an interview dressed professionally, you will feel a sense of confidence and others will sense your self-assurance. Many employers interpret your appearance in terms of what you know about the world around you and what attention you give to detail.

This site was developed in cooperation by Dr. Carol Salusso, and Erin Ward from Apparel, Merchandising and Textiles and Ronda McLean and Dave Haining from Career Services. The research component of this site is a result of Erin Ward’s Master’s Thesis, entitled, “Perceptions of Professional Dress: A comparison of recruiters’ and students’ perceptions of interview dress.” ARAMARK is active in sponsoring the yearly Dress to Impress Exhibition and Etiquette dinner, in coordination with Career Services