Dressing for Job Fairs
Have you ever considered wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt to a job fair? After all, you're probably going to be on your feet all day, so you might as well forget the suit and tie or hosiery and high heels in favor of comfort. And who gets hired at a job fair anyway? The people in the booths are usually low- to midlevel recruiters with very little say in the hiring process, and you're really just there to drop off a resume and move on to the next booth.
The reality is that your formal interview begins the moment that person behind the booth lays eyes on you. And the US Department of Labor says 16 percent to 18 percent of all job seekers find jobs at career fairs.
Most job seekers know you have to kick it up a notch -- or even two -- for an interview. So why do most of us slack off a bit when dressing for a job fair? Perhaps it's because we really can't read the minds of the people behind those booths. They all seem cheerful and sociable, but what are they really thinking? What is their power in the hiring process, and just how important is our manner of dress to them?
What Recruiters Say
On the other hand, they described more formally dressed individuals as capable, well-educated, intelligent, trustworthy, responsible and people they wanted to hire.
Now we all know that wearing faded jeans, a sweater and tennis shoes certainly does not make you less intelligent or capable than someone dressed in more traditionally formal business clothes. It's absurd to base a hiring decision on the basis of appearance. Isn't it?
Mind Your First Impressions
So when the next job fair rolls around, pull out a matching outfit, pick some businesslike shoes, get your hair trimmed and go for it!