Countdown to Career Fair in three weeks — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

January of 2017 is already history and you have only three weeks left to prepare for the Fulton Schools Career Fairs. It’s time to start thinking about your professional attire. Do you have to go shopping? Is your suit clean and pressed? Are your dress shoes shined? Do you need to schedule a haircut?

Ladies, do you own a pair of pumps with a heel no higher than 3 inches? Guys, do you have dress socks that match your slacks? (White socks are a NO-NO.) Ladies, remember to wear hosiery if you are wearing a skirt.

I imagine that some of you are thinking, “Is she serious? Is all of this stuff really necessary?”

Yes, it is. Think about it. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Why not make it a good one? Even if the culture of the company is casual and you would never have to dress up for work, there is a certain expectation about what one should do as a “job applicant.” Note: at this point, you are applying for the job (and so are many of your peers). Dressing professionally shows that you are taking the job search seriously and want to be seriously considered. Employers can see that you have made an extra effort.

I am certainly not saying that professional image is more important than technical and interpersonal skills and experience. Your skills are what will open doors. Dressing professionally can get you “extra credit.” Skipping this step could cause you to be rated below someone else who did make the effort.

If you have questions about professional attire or anything else about the career fair, call to make an appointment with a peer career coach by calling 480-965-2966.


Joyce Donahue is a career counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center. She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status in the National Career Development Association.