Dress to Impress, even on a budget!

Posted: February 10th, 2014

NollJobs – Memo by Ellen Sonnleitner, PHR
February 6, 2014

Confused about how to dress for an interview? For young professionals it can sometimes be tough to understand how to “dress to impress,” but following these tips will surely get you on the right track.

If you are interviewing for any sort of position in an office setting, the most appropriate attire is a business suit. Low on cash flow? Not to worry!  There are several low cost options out there. For example, you could go to any Good Will (http://www.goodwill.org/). They will have a business section with tons of options. If you can’t find a matching jacket and pant combo, go for dress pants and pair it with a black jacket. It is a very professional look and it doesn’t have to break the bank.

If you are looking to wear a skirt make sure it does not hit more than two fingers width above your knees.  Knee length or below the knee is always appropriate in a business setting.

As far as the top you wear underneath your suit jacket, you can go one of two ways. A collared shirt is always appropriate and provides a finished look. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the collared shirt prior to the interview. Wrinkles look sloppy.

If you are interested in another option to wear, there are lots of stores that sell very nice blouses in silk, jersey or knit blends. These are also very professional looking, but make sure the neck is high enough that you do not see any cleavage. Low cut tops are not appropriate for interviews or for normal work hours.  Dress seriously and you will be taken seriously.

For the men out there, collared shirts and ties are the way to go. Target (http://www.target.com/) and Walmart (http://www.walmart.com/) also have several low cost options for business attire.

Remember, interviews are the first impression you will make with an employer. Ensure that your hair is washed and nicely fixed for the day. Ladies, curl or straighten your hair. If you have longer hair you can always pull your hair into a parted low pony tail or bun for a professional look.  Make sure you wear natural makeup that compliments your skin and softer tones on your lips.

For the men, make sure your hair has been recently trimmed. If you have facial hair, ensure that looks trimmed and tidy as well. Disheveled “manscaping” is a serious no no.

Follow these rules and you will surely be ready to dazzle with your professional appearance!


-Ellen Sonnletiner, PHR
Ellen is a Recruiting Specialist and Outplacement Coordinator here at Noll Human Resource Services.