Mark your calendar!!!!
Event: 2014 Fall Internship Fair
When: September 11 from 10am to 2pm
Where: Student Union
Event: 2014 Fall Career Expo
When: September 24th from 10am to 3pm
Where: CFE Arena
This month UCF is hosting the 2014 Fall Internship/Co-op Fair and the 2014 Fall Career Expo… and the recruiter (and Italian fashionista) in me is getting a little anxious. The spring edition showcased a great number of professional looking students who we noticed having some professional sounding conversations with the employers attending the events (yes, the Career Coaches were there spying on you). Unfortunately, we also saw a few too many short skirts, exposed cleavages, and un-ironed slacks. I wish I could have walked up to every single one of those students and shared with them the sad news: you ain’t getting the job. Not that I enjoy giving bad news, I just think that now is better than later. College is a time for experimenting and making mistakes in a (somewhat) safe environment. Career fairs are a great place to practice your “professionalism” and networking skills, and your attire is part of the package. Emily, Lindsay, Sarah, Angela, Victoria, Kelly and I used to recruit at career fairs and we can tell you all about the resumes that would end up in the “NO!” folder. Please don’t end up in the “NO!” folder. Please don’t shoot yourself in the foot by dressing unprofessionally. To employers it is not just a matter of “looking nice”: as their employee you will be a representative of their organization and an overexposed cleavage does not exactly portray you (or them) in a very positive light (Note: If you find a hiring manager who disagrees with this statement, please move to the next table.)
As we are about to show you, you do not need expensive suits to impress recruiters/hiring managers and you can look professional while incorporating your personal style (I think there is something to be said for standing out in a tasteful way).
- Use make-up, cologne/perfume in moderation
- Don’t over accessorize
- Iron your clothes
- Don’t chew gum (not the best accessory!)
- Use common sense: don’t wear something you would wear at a club/beach/gym/grocery store
- Ladies: Do not wear extremely high heels. You don’t want to look like a baby giraffe.
A few of my personal rules:
- While many websites and books will tell you that you need solid dark suites or dresses, I think that a little bit of color is ok. I really don’t like walking into a Career Fair and thinking I accidentally stepped into a funeral.
- You don’t need to wear stockings. It is Florida. In 2014. If your skirt is long enough (as it should be) nobody should be offended by the view of your naked knees and shins.
- Be comfortable. This doesn’t mean you should wear your pajamas, but make sure what you are wearing fits right, lets you move around comfortably, and doesn’t make you feel uneasy. It is hard to feel confident (and convey confidence!) when you feel like you are walking around in a straitjacket.
- Invest in a few “interviews appropriate” pieces. You will wear that jacket/pants/dress/pencil skirt again, I promise you! As a student I would patiently wait for sales at stores such as Banana Republic, Macy’s, Nordstrom, J.Crew, or LOFT (never mind, I still do!). They have a large selection of basic, good quality pieces that you can dress up or dress down, depending on the occasion.
Here are some examples from real students as well as some items currently on sale at some of the stores listed above:
Emerson Vintage Straight Chino
Tailored Slim Non-Iron Cotton Pant
Selvedge solid shirt
Anne Klein Sleeveless Colorblock Sheath
http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/anne-klein-sleeveless-colorblock-sheath?ID=1235834&CategoryID=5449&LinkType=#fn=DRESS_LENGTH%3DKnee Length%26DRESS_OCCASION%3DWear to Work%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D94
Bandolino Flora Pumps
http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/bandolino-flora-pumps?ID=1311935&CategoryID=55669#fn=HEEL%3DLow Heel;;Mid Heel%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D35
Elbow Sleeve Belted Sweater Dress
‘Taylor’ Skinny Ankle Pants
Print Angled Front Suiting Jacket
Some alternatives to the “classic suit”
A special thanks to Jonathan Gabriel, CBA Senior Communications Specialist, for all his help (and for putting up with the seven of us!)
Career Coach – Economics & Finance