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).

Basic Rules:

  • 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:


Banana Republic

Emerson Vintage Straight Chino

Orig. $69.50

Now $34.99


Banana Republic

Tailored Slim Non-Iron Cotton Pant

Orig. $89.50

Now $59.99

3Modern Oxford solid shirt


Org. $49.95

Now $29.99



Selvedge solid shirt

Orig. $69.95

Now $39.99



Anne Klein Sleeveless Colorblock Sheath

Orig. $79.00

Now $59.99 Length%26DRESS_OCCASION%3DWear to Work%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D94



Bandolino Flora Pumps

Orig. $69.00

Now $34.50 Heel;;Mid Heel%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D35




Elbow Sleeve Belted Sweater Dress

Orig. $89.00

Now $39.99



‘Taylor’ Skinny Ankle Pants

Orig: $79.00

Now: $46.90




Print Angled Front Suiting Jacket

Was: $98.00

Now: $49.90

Some alternatives to the “classic suit”

guy1    girl4

girl2    photo 3 edit2

A special thanks to Jonathan Gabriel, CBA Senior Communications Specialist, for all his help (and for putting up with the seven of us!)

Laura McDonough


Career Coach – Economics & Finance