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Do you know the difference between Business Professional and Casual?

As undergraduates attending a major public university, the future is always on our minds – What do we want to be when we grow up? Where do we want to live? What company or corporation do we want to work for? Who are we?!

We can become so caught up in the day-to-day stresses and deadlines that tend to shape our college journey, we easily overlook the small details that could potentially make or break our chance of getting a position with the employer of our dreams. Interviews with employers are stressful. Point blank. As we walk into the interviewing room, our mind begins to race with concerns over what questions we will be asked, what first impressions he or she will have, and whether or not we are truly qualified for the position.

However, have no fear as I have discovered the secret to having the confidence to ace any interview in your bright future. The answer lies…in your professional attire! Because when you are wearing the best, you will feel the best. Trust me.

As you can see, there are three common attire choices when attending an interview, with male dress focused on here. You have the Casual Confusion look in which the interviewee mistakes a colored polo and jeans you would probably wear to a party as an appropriate business look. Then there is the Mixed Messages combo, a look that just falls short of our professional standards, featuring khakis with a blazer and a patterned button-down shirt. And last but certainly not least, we have the Perfectly Professional attire with our model wearing a neutral two-piece suit and simple tie. As the title of this look states, you can never go wrong with this combination when walking into an interview with a PepsiCo representative, for example.





Using the professional advice I have provided below, you will be perfectly professional yourself in no time at your next interview or career fair!

What to Wear – The Professional Male:

–          Two-piece suits in neutral colors (preferably black or gray)

–          White, long-sleeved dress shirt with a simple tie in basic colors (no crazy patterns or designs)

–          Dark, polished shoes and socks that cover the entirety of the ankle and lower leg

–          A well-groomed face and a clean, fresh haircut to complete the polished, professional look

–          Avoid wearing excessive amounts of cologne or aftershave – you do not want a potential employer to remember you for the ridiculous amount of Armani cologne you wear wearing, and not your credentials

What to Wear – The Professional Female:

–          Two-piece suits in neutral colors (preferably black or gray)

–          Neutral skirts that end past the knee line

–          Blouse or knit top in simple colors that falls to appropriate chest length (no cleavage, please)

–          Close-toed dark or nude shoes

–          Minimal jewelry and make-up – just enough to accentuate your natural features!

–          Always wear some form of hosiery with skirts and pants – bare legs is a major no-no in the workplace!

–          Hair either down or in a ponytail – a job interview probably is not the time to try out some new, wild hairstyle so stick to the basics

–          Wear clothes that fit your body properly but avoid either extreme on the “appropriate” scale – too baggy screams sloppy while too tight screams clubby

–          And do not spray Chanel No. 5 all over right before you walk in

You should always “dress like you’ve made something of yourself in the world, even if you haven’t,” because by simply walking into that interview, you’re halfway there.


georgiaGeorgia Rounder is from Evansville, IN. She is a junior majoring in Dietetics. Georgia’s passion for cooking, healthy eating habits, and exercise has led her to her current career path. Outside of her academics here in the School of Public Health, Georgia also enjoy working out, playing tennis, reading fashion magazines, trying different Bloomington restaurants, exploring new cities, and being near any body of water she can find!”


Categories: Career Advice Careers Uncategorized

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IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
•job placement
•volunteer opportunities
•resume and cover letter preparation
•interview skills
•graduate school preparation

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