University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Career Services
SKILLS - Dress for Success

Professional Attire
You've done your homework. You've updated your resume. Now you aren't sure what you should wear to a job fair or an upcoming interview. Here are some guidelines to help you make a great first impression.

Attire

What Should I Wear?
First impressions are very important to employers, so the familiar saying, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" couldn't ring more true. However, that doesn't mean that you should skip an interview or other networking event just because you don't have a suit. Here are a few tips and resources to help you dress appropriately:

Dress for Success Tips

NOTE:
These are general recommendations. We encourage students to research company policies and guidelines if necessary and consider

Business Professional Recommendations:
This is the style we recommend if you will be participating in an interview or attending a professional networking event (i.e. the Job & Internship Fair, On-Campus Interviews)

  • Choose a conservative 2-piece suit that has matching pieces - the same color and fabric type. Opt for darker colors such as black, blue and gray.
  • If you wear a skirt, keep the length conservative - knee-length is generally acceptable.
  • Pant length: Make sure your socks are not showing when you are standing.
  • Select a conservative shirt in a more neutral color. Avoid busy or bright patterns or sheer (see-through) fabrics. If the shirt is buttoned, button the collar and make sure the shirt cuffs extend past the sleeves on your jacket.
  • Attire should fit well - not too small or too big - and be clean and free of wrinkles, tags, lint. When trying on attire, is it comfortable when you stand, sit and walk?
  • Do not reveal any cleavage, midrift or undergarments (i.e. bra-straps)

Business Casual Recommendations:

  • Nice pants, slacks or skirts can be worn with appropriate top or you may wear a conservative dress. (Skirt/dress length is same as noted above.)
  • In this situation, the fabric of the jacket and pants do not need to be the same if you choose to wear a jacket/sport coat.
  • Dress pants or skirts should still be a conservative color (i.e. black, gray, brown)
  • Tops might include a button down shirt, blouse, or sweater.  Blouses or buttom up shirts will be tucked in and wrinkle-free.

Accessories:

  • Wear dark or neutral colored shoes that are closed toe and polished.
  • If you choose to wear heels, opt for a pump-style shoe with heels less than 3" in height. A good guidelines for heels - how well do you walk in them? Note that some interviews may include a networking session or site tour.
  • Socks should match your pants.
  • If you wear a skirt or dress, wear a pair of skin-tone pantyhose.
  • If you are wear a belt, have your shoes and belt match.
  • If you wear a tie, keep the pattern and color conservative; no "flashy" designs or colors which draw attention.
  • Wear minimal jewelry.
  • If you have tatoos or body piercings, consider the policies of the company with whom you are intervewing. Does it fit with their culture/standards?
  • Remember - your cell phone is not considered an accessory. Leave it in your vehicle. If you must have it with you during the interview, be sure it is turned off to avoid any distractions.

Grooming:

  • Hair is clean away from your face. Facial hair is trimmed/well-groomed.
  • Keep make up minimal and natural looking.
  • Avoid strong perfumes, after shave or cologne.\
  • Clean, trimmed fingernails
  • No gum, candy, cigarettes.

Avoid - Do Not Wear:

  • No jeans, shorts, capris, spandex, or yoga pants
  • No flip flops, clogs, open toed shoes

Articles and Resources:

By taking a few simple attire tips, you can make certain you make a great first impression!

In Need of Interview Attire?
Here are two Green Bay community resources that provide professional attire to those in need:

Green Bay Men's Closet
Through The Salvation Army
Individuals will need to obtain a voucher to access the Closet which is located at
1125 West Mason St. (The entrance to the Men's Closet is at 719 Redwood Drive)
If you have questions or want to receive information about obtaining a voucher, please call (220) 593-2379 between the hours of 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

YWCA Women's Career Closet
YWCA Green Bay-De Pere
230 S. Madison St.
Green Bay, WI 54301
Phone: (920) 432-5581
View the Women's Career Closet Website

Career Spots Videos - Interview Attire
Below are short videos about appropriate attire as well as tips about business casual attire. Click on a video to see the entire CareerSpots collection.


 

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