After the stressful weeks of finals, endless nights of celebrating graduation and that lazy month or so of summer spent recuperating, it’s time to get on track for fall and think about the next step: finding a job. Not just any job — a real job. One that requires a cover letter and recommendations and untagging half your Facebook photos.
It’s complicated enough to navigate, but one part doesn’t have to be: finding the perfect job interview outfit. Luckily, just a few key elements can make you look polished and professional.
The fitted blazer: The key with blazers is to keep it simple: no patterns, crazy colors or cropped looks. A classic black or navy style with sleeves that hit the wrist bone or mid-forearm is ideal. If you don’t want to show up on the verge of heat stroke, throw it on just before walking through the door.
The stylish blouse: Whether the job you’re applying for is business-casual or conservative, it’s always wise to dress on the modest side to show you’re serious (in my experience, this is especially helpful for young people). The bow on this neutral-colored blouse keeps it from being boring. Things to avoid: sheer, cleavage and neon. Trust me.
The pencil skirt: I can’t say enough good things about a proper pencil skirt. It’s flattering, can be worn in all seasons and never goes out of style. This gray one can be worn with tons of other colors and hits right above the knee, so you don’t have to worry about thigh over-exposure when you sit.
Close-toed pumps: I’m forever torn between nude and black pumps. Black is classic, but nude shoes make legs look miles long – something my 5-foot-4 self appreciates. This almond-toe look is totally in right now, and heels with just a bit of platform mean there’s a smaller chance you’ll break your neck before the first handshake.
Jewelry: Accessories are where you can show a bit of your personal style during interviews. I’m not a pearl-wearing type of girl, so I opt for a great pair of small post earrings and a single bracelet for a pop of color.
Once you’ve dressed the part and paired it with an error-free resume and enthusiastic smile, you’ll be hearing “you’re hired” in no time.