As a wise man once said; “You are addressed by how you are dressed.” this has always been with me so I make a conscious effort to ensure that at all times and on all occasions I make a good and lasting first impression by how I appear even before I speak.

A lot of research has proven that perception made about people are usually formed  by how they look. Appearing very put together has a way of boosting self confidence and self esteem, because you know that if “they”  are staring too hard at you, it won’t be due to the fact that you know for sure that the see through blouse you’re wearing for the interview is a big NO- NO!!
Although just dressing right and being well groomed does not guarantee you get the internship or job, it goes a long way to get your foot in the door.

Every industry has its own dress code but the same expectations of looking professional and being able to represent the organization well at all times should play a key role in the choice of clothes for any young professional.

Here are a few pointers on how to  look the part and become every employer’s dream:


Women and Men

  • Neat, professional hairstyle.
  • Manicured nails.
  • Portfolio or briefcase.
  • Clean and pressed clothing.


  • Solid color, conservative suit.
  • Coordinated blouse with no bold colors or patterns.
  • Flats or low-heeled shoes.
  • One set of earrings only. No more than one ring on each hand.
  • Conservative hosiery at or near skin color.
  •  Proper undergarments can save the look of an outfit.
  • Minimal use of makeup. (It should not be too noticeable.)
  • No or very light perfume.
  • Manicured nails with neutral polish.
  • Do not carry a purse.


  • Solid color, conservative suit.
  • White or light blue long-sleeved shirt.
  • Silk necktie with a conservative pattern.
  • A couple of quality, conservative ties will be plenty to see you through. Make sure either you or someone you know can tie the tie properly.How to tie a Tie
  • Dark non-bulky socks.
  • Dark shoes, cleaned and polished.
  • Belt should match shoes.
  • Go easy on the aftershave and cologne; no one should smell you coming a block away.
  • No earrings. No rings other than wedding ring.


Things to Avoid

  • Loud colors (clothes/shoes, jewelry, make-up, hair).
  • Casual wear (jeans, sweat suits, t-shirts, tank tops).
  • Floral, plaid, or other “busy” designs.
  • Shorts, capri pants, and short skirts.
  • Mismatched clothing (fabrics, colors, patterns).
  • Wrinkled, untucked, pilled or linty clothing.
  • Tattered, faded, stained or dirty clothing.
  • Revealing fabrics.
  • Plastic or crafty jewelry, including earrings.
  • Excessive jewelry.
  • Cleavage, chest hair.
  • Strong odors (perfumes, colognes, smoke, garlic).
  • Visible body art (tattoos, bodmod).
  • Open-toed footwear and athletic shoes.

What Not to Bring to the Interview

  • Gum
  • Cell phone (even on vibrate it’s distracting and unprofessional)
  • Ipod
  • Coffee or soda
  • If you have several piercings, leave them at home (earrings for women only)
  • Cover tattoos
Ngozi Dickson
Ngozi Dickson
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