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The Importance of Networking for Veterans: Part 3 – Dress The Part

So you landed an interview with your fancy resume. Great work, but the funs not over with yet. The next thing you will want to focus on is your look. Keep in mind that appearance is everything at this point. The hiring manager already knows who they are interviewing and they have a pretty good idea at this point who will be the best fit operationally.

To make yourself stand out, you want to dress to stand out. Remember, this is not an excuse for you to go all out during the interview and then show up on your first day with a pair of ripped jeans and a Metallica shirt. Keep it simple, keep it classy, but most of all… keep it maintainable.

  1. Make sure you are wearing something that is professional looking. It doesn’t have to be a full 3-piece suit but try your best to look like an executive… You will never go wrong with a suit and tie (job depending of course), but you also won’t go wrong with slacks and a nice button-up shirt. Don’t go crazy on the color unless you are that bold of a person.
  2. DON’T WEAR SNEAKERS. Do not wear your crappy, everyday sneakers as they probably squeak and smell bad. That’s the last thing you want to convey to your interviewer. Do not wear your military issued low-quarters. Nothing looks dumber than someone showing up in a set of highly reflective low-quarters. You’re not a pimp, so don’t dress like one. Instead, pick up a nice pair of slip-on (male or female) dress shoes. They do not have to be super expensive, they just need to look nice and match what you are wearing.
  3. Invest in a nice belt. Yeah, I still have my studded heavy-metal belt from my death metal days, but I would never wear that to an interview. Check out Amazon for some nice leather belts. Nothing that needs to break the bank, but don’t cheap out either. A good $30 belt on Amazon could last you a few years and will look good with a nice pair of slacks.
  4. Take a shower! Make sure your hair is presentable and neat. Make sure you have shaved or trimmed your beard. For the women out there, don’t go overboard on the make-up. This is a job interview, not a blind date. Do not put on any perfume or cologne, but do wear deodorant. If you are like me, you’re going to sweat due to nervousness. In this case, invest in an undershirt and a good stick of Antiperspirant.
  5. Finally, have a good attitude. You may or may not get the job… but you have passed the hardest part. Rest easy and relax. Have a good attitude and don’t take yourself too seriously. The interviewer knows that you are nervous.

If you have any experience with the Army and how they do their promotion boards, you will be set.

For some great style advice for men check out Real Men, Real Style.