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What to Wear

boston college career center

Nicely Dressed Student

 

First impressions count, so dress appropriately any time you meet with a prospective employer.

A suit is the proper attire for any business formal event, including interviews and pre-interview nights (unless otherwise noted), and to a lesser extent, career fairs.  Business casual is appropriate for information sessions and other networking events on campus.

However, some industries (such as high-tech fields) are less formal, so do your research to find out what’s appropriate in your specific field.

The goal is not to make an impression or express your individuality through your attire, but to stand out through your professionalism and the content of your answers. Dress in an understated way so as not to distract the interviewer from the content!

Here are some specific tips on dressing appropriately.

 

For Everyone


  • Try on your interview outfit ahead of time to ensure comfort and a good fit. Make sure your clothing is pressed.
  • Hair should be neatly trimmed and styled.
  • Shoes should be polished—and comfortable! Wearing sneakers to your interview and changing into dress shoes when you arrive is a good way to avoid pain (and scuff marks).
  • Don’t wear heavy perfume, cologne, or aftershave.

 

For Men


  • Wear a dark suit with white (or light-colored) shirt and white undershirt. Make sure your suit is comfortable and fits well!
  • Choose conservative patterns and darker colors for your tie.
  • Shoes should be well polished and in good condition. They should also match your belt.
  • Hair should be recently cut and look neat. Face should be clean shaven or well groomed.

 

For Women


  • Wear a simple, dark-colored suit. (Skirts and pantsuits are both acceptable.)
  • Wear a conservative blouse or shell under your jacket. Avoid bright colors, animal prints, or anything lacy, sheer, tight fitting, or low cut.
  • Wear neutral-colored hose (matched to your skin tone).
  • Keep your jewelry and hair accessories to a minimum.
  • Shoes should be conservative and fairly low-heeled (read: comfortable!).
  • Keep makeup and nail polish understated.

 

Need help?


For one-on-one advice on what to wear, schedule an appointment with a career counselor or stop by during drop-in hours.