Research the Specific Dress Code

To fine-tune the process, find out what the dress code is for the industry that you are interested in. When you research the company you will often get an idea of the dress code for employees. Ask career counselors, faculty, and professionals in your field of interest if you are unsure. Fields such as law, banking and accounting frequently have a stricter set of guidelines than advertising, retail and sales, which allow more casual dress. Even though suggested guidelines of professional dress may seem more formal than you would have imagined, consider what some career consultants recommend:

  • The job seeker should dress for a position two levels higher than the one for which she/he is being interviewed. This may mean dressing more formally for the interview than you will once you are in the job.
  • The level of formality you project shows that you understand the importance of the situation and respect the person you are meeting. When in doubt, making a conservative clothing choice for your interview is usually the safest.
  • Once you’ve been hired, it’s a good idea to ask your boss or the human resources department for a copy of the organization’s dress code policy. Codes vary so don’t assume you can wear the same clothes you wore at your last job. Some companies allow blue jeans, sleeveless tops and open-toe sandals, but others don’t. Play it safe by adhering to the organization policy.