What IS professional attire??

So I’m signed up for the job fair and I have a question on what I should wear. I was told to wear “professional attire” but what does that really mean? When I worked at Subway that meant a subway shirt and hat.. I want to make a good impression here but I can’t afford buying a new suit for this. That’s why I NEED a job!!! Thanks in advance.

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Kik Queen
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Don't be alarmed, take a look in your closet, pull out all the nicest slacks (pant) that you have. Next pull out all your nicest shirt (button down preferable) but if you don't have a button down shirt no worries just pick a nice shirt to match pant. If you have a blazer jacket add that to your attire only if you don't have a button down shirt!! Or try your local workforce. They have a program there called "Dress for success" where they will give you the attire you need in order to go on a interview. Hope this helped you out. Good Luck!!

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Dwayne Schultz
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Oh you can also get a voucher from Salvation Army for clothing for a job.

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Thomas Calloway
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So Austin...you PROVED that there are "no stupid questions, only stupid answers". Good for you!! Check out the pointers below, pick which ones make the most sense to you...apart from getting a haircut and shave. (hint: they all should).

First of all...WHY BOTHER? Your goal is to make a great impression, smile, pitch your story (what SUBWAY taught me about dealing with people, etc.) You want to get past being "screened" by a recruiter...to get invited to the next level of interview. That's the goal. Even if they ask you to mop floors to start at Cincinnati Children's Hospital or Auto Zone, that's what you do to start...good companies with growth. That's your target employer.

Now, if you hear about jobs where they don't pay a salary, and they want you to work only on sales commission..low priority. I say, keep walking. They are open jobs because someone tried it already. Nothing worse than being broke and spending your own money going to work every day until your first big sales month comes along. Just a word to the wise.

  1. Now, "Professional" means that someone that gets paid for what they do. So, they want you to look like you are going to work to earn a check...NOT clubbing, partying or chilling. Pro athletes all wear the same uniforms on the same team, for example. You get it.
  2. OK, Cincinnati is not New York or Chicago. But, there is a WALMART, TARGET, MARSHALL's or a KOHL's in each city. If you want to be taken seriously, dress like a man that wants to earn money for work. Let them know you know the difference. Dress to interview...I didn't say spend a fortune, just get a couple of the items listed here to stand out from the droves of young men who will come to this Job Fair in "their best" jeans and sneakers. What is strange is, when you look good, you feel good. Even if you can only afford a new pair of socks, get the nicest pair of $4 dress socks they have, you will feel more confident and comfortable. Make sure everything fits you and polish your shoes with something, even if it's hand cream. When your clothes fit, you stand out from everyone else who tried on their "pro attire" 20 minutes before they left the house and look like bulging sausages..

For Men, "pro attire" generally means four things... a.) Black or Brown Leather dress shoes with (not white sweat socks) black or navy socks; b.) Pants that are not jeans, so khakis or solid color "dress pants" with a belt; c.) A jacket or blazer. You don't have to look like you are going to a funeral. Ask around the neighborhood, or family to see if someone has a spare in the closet that you can use. Ask! No loud plaids, but light colors are totally cool for Summer job fairs. The Salvation Army is where a lot of incredible dress clothes end up, so take 20 minutes and go through the racks for clothes if cash is tight. I found a $400 camel hair blazer that I wear to this day in my SA Store, for $20. The tie is generally optional these days, but carry one in case everyone else has one on. I know Cincinnati is humid in Summer. Carry your jacket in a backpack to the fair if you need to; don't show up drenched in sweat. One more thing, if the jacket has a label on the sleeve to help sell it, remove it before you wear it in public !; d.) A dress shirt that is tucked into your pants. If the shirt has a pattern, stick with a use a solid-color tie. That's it. People will see that you get it, and you will make a positive impression.

If you stop by STAPLES to make making 25 copies of your resume, grab a nice plastic folder to carry them in. You will get a bunch of flyers or business cards from the companies there, so dual usage item. Bring the nicest pen you have in the house, (to take notes when you talk to recruiters...they love that! ). In fact, bring two pens if you can, someone always shows up without one, it's good karma. If it's an attractive woman, all the better.

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Thomas Calloway
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By the way, dress your best when you are job hunting and out of the house, say at a doctor's appointment. You never know when you will run into someone who is looking for someone who really wants to work. My friend just graduated, and struck up a conversation with her eye doctor. He gave her the name of his office manager to set up an interview! So, don't fall into the "sweatpant wardrobe" you never know where you next interview comes from!

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Dwayne Schultz
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Dress slacks, dress shirt, dress shoes a tie and a blazer all which can usually be found at Goodwill, salvation army, ARC thrift stores and trirft stores in general tat are gently used and cheap.

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Christina Wasserman
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Sorry, but there is a uniform of sorts! Dark Suit or a dark blazer and pants and dress shirt and tie. Great finds at a Goodwill or Salvation Army store or Save-a-Lot. I would note that you can find something classic of better quality for under $20. They even have shoes. No need to spend $300. I work full time, and I shop at those thrift stores for work clothes all of the time!

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Tim Cantley
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Well. Shirt tie sport coat polish shoes

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Kathreen Fritz
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In my opinion a suit is not the only professional attire. You should wear a button down shirt, tucked in correctly with ironed khakis or black pants. No tennis shoes. A dress shoes u wear to church. Or proper penny loafers since you are a male.

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Lori Bodendorf
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Please see Ashley's post. It's terrific. Gives you all the ins and outs of interviewing, right down to proper attire. I wish you the very best.

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Josiah Silverman
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Black dress pants, belt. Clean shaven on the sides of your face, trimmed beard and mustache. Some sort of polo or button up shirt.

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