By Veronica Soto
It is summertime and I’m sure that after your internship you are thinking about the beach and catching up with friends home from school for the summer. The last thing you want to hear about is preparing for Career Expo and on-campus interviews in the fall, but I promise this will not be a lecture. Today, I just want to talk to you about the importance of your professional appearance when you do come back to campus. I’m talking about the way you present yourself to a potential employer. Career Expo will have about 1000 students and alumni in attendance, all vying for internships and full-time opportunities so you want to be sure that you present yourself at your best.
By now, you should have your social media privacy settings on lock. Employers should only be able to find your appropriate Facebook profile picture and your LinkedIn profile. Managing your online profile, that is the easy part. What do you do when you are in front of the employer? Does how you are dressed make or break your opportunity with an employer? In a perfect world, if you are the best person for the job, no. We live in the real world and competition is fierce, especially for the really cool and really competitive opportunities. If an employer is going to decide between candidates that have similar backgrounds, do you think they will go for the student dressed in a suit or the student that looks like he slept in his clothes? While any other day, your wrinkled T’s are an acceptable outfit to wear to class, it is not acceptable for Expo or other career events. You are not helping yourself by doing this.
The truth is, you need to be able to look your best. I don’t mean that you have to be dressed in a Hugo Boss suit with Ferragamo shoes sporting your Rolex.
Truth is, you don’t need an expensive outfit to look put together and professional. Even discount retailers like Target and JCPenney, carry inexpensive lines of professional clothing. You can even borrow a suit from a friend, we won’t tell anyone!
So please, do not show up to Career Expo or other career events in mini-skirts, jeans, polo shirts or turquoise pants. We require professional attire because we want University of Miami students and alumni to continue to stand out to employers and part of standing out is your taking time to make sure you have a professional appearance. We want you to succeed.