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Dressing for Job Fairs

Dressing for Job Fairs

Marky Stein / Monster

Have you ever considered wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt to a job fair?

After all, you’re probably going to be on your feet all day, so you might as well forget the suit and tie or hosiery and high heels in favor of comfort.

And who gets hired at a job fair anyway? The people in the booths are usually low- to midlevel recruiters with very little say in the hiring process, and you’re really just there to drop off a resume and move on to the next booth.

The reality is that your formal interview begins the moment that person behind the booth lays eyes on you. And the US Department of Labor says 16 percent to 18 percent of all job seekers find jobs at career fairs.

Most job seekers know you have to kick it up a notch – or even two – for an interview. So why do most of us slack off a bit when dressing for a job fair?

Perhaps it’s because we really can’t read the minds of the people behind those booths. They all seem cheerful and sociable, but what are they really thinking? What is their power in the hiring process, and just how important is our manner of dress to them?

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