Dress for Success

First impressions are essential in the professional world, and your appearance—including attire and grooming standards—leave as much of an indelible mark as do your accomplishments in academics and leadership. For some, you may have less than 10 seconds to make a lasting impression that will be difficult to change. This is why what you wear and how you wear it is so vital as you market (yes, market!) yourself to professional colleagues and potential employers.

A few general “Dress for Success” rules of thumb:

  • There are no absolute right or wrong ways to dress, but there are general expectations and some “unwritten rules” that you want to follow.
  • It is important to understand appropriate dress and the different types so you don’t embarrass yourself or give yourself a professional disadvantage.
  • A good rule of thumb is to know what type of dress is expected and to dress one level above what others do.
  • Knowing the rules and dressing accordingly demonstrates that you take pride in your appearance and also understand the professional world.
  • More importantly, knowing the rules allows you to have an appropriate sense of style and to express yourself in a manner than will leave that lasting impression

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  • Please see Big Interview Module 5: “Interview Prep” for more tips on Dressing   for Success! (login required)