Dressing Professionally as College Students

Having the proper business clothing is essential for looking and feeling professional at campus career fairs, company networking events, CWIB treks, and other professional events. Here are three business clothing tips to help you feel confident and make good first impressions on those recruiters!

1. Be knowledgeable

First, knowing what type of business attire the event requires is important when planning what to wear. The dress code will vary based on the type of event. There are two categories of business attire that are commonly used: business professional and business casual. Business professional is formal business attire and usually calls for a suit jacket or blazer, a collared shirt or blouse, dress pants or a knee-length skirt, or a professional dress. Business casual attire is presentable, yet less formal than business professional attire. There are many types of clothing that can be considered business casual, such as chino pants, blouses, sweaters, and more. Avoid clothing that is too casual such as, leggings and t-shirts. Remember, what you wear is the very first impression a person gets of you when you meet them. Looking professional is the first hint that you CWIB members are what the recruiters are looking for!

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CWIB leadership team dressed in business professional clothing

2. Be bold

Dressing professionally doesn’t have to be boring or something you dread. Adding your own unique touch to your business outfits is a great way to show off your personality! Some examples of subtle ways to spice up your outfit are wearing a maroon blouse under your blazer (Go Hokies!), sporting a light blue ring if that’s your favorite color, or tying a simple handkerchief scarf around your neck. Remaining professional while doing so is important, so try to avoid clothing that is bright and flashy.  

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The 2016-2017 leadership team adding some personality to their business casual outfits at a monthly meeting!

3. Be comfortable

Many professional events keep you on your feet for long periods of time. Lines to talk to popular recruiters at Business Horizons can be long, plus you have to walk around Commonwealth Ballroom multiple times. Therefore, try to wear clothing and shoes that you are comfortable in. Pick stretchable or loose clothing and short-heeled or flat shoes so you’re not worrying about your outfit while trying to get a job!

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Networking events, like Power Panel, require a lot of standing!

Dressing professionally as college students should not be something to stress over! If you’re lost, obtain some basic business clothing pieces to have on hand and slowly add to your professional wardrobe once you learn what works best for you! Next month has a lot of different professional events going on, so make sure you have the appropriate attire ready!

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