No matter what you’re doing, first impressions are everything. So when it comes to the business world, you should always dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
When you’re young it’s almost second nature to be fashion conscious and try out new trends. However, when it comes to the professional world you only have one shot to get it right. College career fairs are great ways to get your foot in the door, so make sure that the shoe always fits. To ensure a great first impression and portray that you’re the ideal employee, try these five fashion savvy yet professional looks at your next college career fair.
The Young and Fashionable Intern
Not all companies have a strict dress code, as some value your ability not only to group think, but also to be independent. A great way to show your individuality is through your clothes but, remember to keep it professional.
Color pants are all the rage nowadays but, you don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb so try a cute yet simple printed shirt. Keep the print between two and three colors, anything more than that and you might look too busy. You want to be seen AND heard, not just seen. If you’re staying the neutral route with your top add a bit of color to your wardrobe with a colored pencil skirt. Go for style when it comes to your shoes but keep them practical and of course tasteful. Wedges are a sure bet in this instance and to complete your look have a chick portfolio case on hand to carry your resume in.
The Retail Maven
No matter the job you are seeking to gain, be sure to dress the part. In working retail, it is likely that you might find yourself being a customer’s personal stylist so you’d want to show you have a style yourself. The key to this look is comfortable shoes as it is more than likely you will be on your feet often working the floor as an assistant manager or even visual merchandiser.
Flat styled shoes are key to a chic and sophisticated look meant for a retail setting and when it comes to shoes they are as comfortable as you get. With spring just around the corner, white pants are an appropriate choice for your next career fair as they can easily lend themselves to a business setting. When it comes to your top go for color to show some bubbly personality which is important in retail but don’t go overboard. Instead of utilizing prints, don a solid color blouse with some interesting detail, such as this salmon colored top with release tucks up at the collar. Most retail stores carry some form of jewelry so it’s ok to glam up your look but, be sure to keep it low key and moderate in color.
The Class Act
If there is one rule that every girl should know when it comes to style is to “keep it classy”. There is nothing classier than the little black dress but, instead of going for Audrey Hepburn, throw some white into your wardrobe and channel your own inner classy working girl.
The idea of this look is to look put together with little effort. To start this look, you should go for a simple yet chic black and white blouse and pair it with something like this cardigan styled blazer. A pair of fitted black pants is a must in this wardrobe, so be sure that your pants are tailored to your body type. It will help you pull off this look even more, especially when paired with a set of stylish ballerina flats. Since you never know when you’re going to be asked to share your portfolio, always be ready with your digital portfolio on hand.
The Corporate College Girl
Though career fairs may be on your college turf, don’t be fooled to think that you can dress in your usual sweats or a nice pair of jeans. You can get your first real gig at a college career fair so you want to look sharp. It might be far from your comfort zone but you can really impress a future employer with a good dress suit.
You don’t have to go with the mundane suit and tie when it comes to dressing the corporate part but, if you are trying to score some brownie points, start with a tailored jacket. There is nothing worse than an ill fitting jacket so be sure that it fits in all the right areas but at the same time allows for comfortable movement. Black is the go to color when it comes to suits, however; navy, gray and khaki are just as acceptable. If you can’t find a pant or skirt that comes with the jacket, go for a darker color than the suit jacket. This simple yet dark gray pencil skirt is a perfect example of how to pull the look off. Don’t forget that you have to wear something under your jacket and with spring on the cusps of winter, a sleeveless blouse is always a good consideration. Finally accessorize with a watch to make sure you’re always on time and a nice pair of low heels will have you all set and ready for the hot seat.
The Corporate College Girl with Color
If you love the Corporate College Girl look, but not so much the dull colors it sports don’t worry, colors are now becoming accepted in the professional world which means you can brighten up the hum drum attire a bit.
The first rule when it comes to color is to keep it tame. If you want to go for a red jacket then make sure it isn’t bright, instead go for something like this wine colored suit top. For a colored suit jacket keep it neutral down below so khaki, black or even white is appropriate. Match the look with an off white blouse, watch and black heels to give you a put together and sophisticated look.
Remember, when it comes to career fairs you don’t have to sacrifice your personal style to meet corporate guidelines. If you’re hoping to impress a certain business, research that company’s culture and dress accordingly, this can get you some serious brownie points in the interview process.