It’s go time. You’ve managed to get an interview with a firm you’ve been chasing and need to make a fantastic first impression (you know, like when the star of the Hollywood movie first walks into the room and everything goes slow motion and kind of stops). Yes, just like that.
So how do you make sure that you are dressing for the job you want?
Whether it’s a hunt for your first job, or an interview for a VP Finance role, researching the company’s culture is key to your success. Consider the following:
- LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding and connecting with past and present employees. Use the Advanced People search box to determine if you know anybody currently working for the organization. Ask if they can give you five minutes of their time to talk about the company’s culture. Their insights will be particularly valuable. If you’re able to determine who will be interviewing you then look at their profile, particularly if it’s your future manager. The way he/she dresses will help you determine what approach you should take.
- Glass Door is a great way to get the inside scoop on a company’s culture. Type in the name of the company you are interested in and let the research begin. You’ll find valuable information under the “Reviews” tab and potential interview questions and tips under the “Interviews” section. Use this information to help understand the organization’s culture.
- Look at a company’s Facebook page. Read about any news that has been posted. If there are office or event pictures, they can give you a glimpse into both the day to day dress expectations and also how people are dressing for more important occasions.
Some general rules of thumb to follow are always a good idea. Remember to keep it simple and stylish. For women, if it’s a corporate environment, a pant suit or dress would be ideal. Don’t over accessorize. A simple necklace, earrings and ring are more than enough. For men, a corporate environment does demand a more formal look and a suit that fits you beautifully is a good place to start. For both genders make sure your shoes are polished and well kept. Not sure which colour shoes to wear? Check out this post.
So let’s say you’ve already landed the job and have an eye to a future promotion. Remember to dress the part. If you want to become a VP Finance or CEO one day then dress accordingly. Always keep it professional even if the company’s culture is business casual. Remember that while clothing does not determine competence, it can influence people’s perception of ability and that can make a difference.
If you’re aiming to land a role, it pays to understand how to dress for success. Research a company’s culture. Take the time to understand how the organization defines business casual. Dress for the job you want, even if it’s 5 years down the road. At the end of the day, you need your clothes to send the right message, so gain an advantage by already looking the part.
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