Dress Your Best: College Career Fair

Dress Your Best: College Career Fair
  • Opening Intro -

    As you work your way through your senior year of college, opportunities to participate in career fairs will arise.

    These fairs are typically held on campus and may be organized by your college's career office.


Your school wants to help you find work after you graduate and may conduct several career fairs during your senior year. Attending these events can help you practice your interview skills, perhaps even leading to a job offer. Here is what you need to know about how to dress your best for your college career fair.

Dress the Part

You may be planning to work as a software programmer or perhaps as a lab technician when you graduate. Likely, in neither position will you have to dress up. In fact, many companies encourage a casual look. But, that look should not be part of your career fair attire.

A business suit is always appropriate for a career fair. If you do not have one, now is the time to invest in the matching shoes, belts, shirts or blouses that should accompany your outfit. Choose a conservative suit, one with gray, blue or brown for the simplest, but easiest matching possibilities with the rest of your outfit. Try your suit on, make sure that it fits and if repairs or alterations are needed, visit your tailor well before the career fair will be held.

Mix and Match

Quite easily you can wear the same outfit at each career fair. This is an understandable approach if you have limited funds. You might, however, consider mixing and matching what you own especially if interviews are held on successive days.

Choose a white shirt or blouse and you will find it easier to match up a tie. Your selection of ties should match the suit’s color — choose one that is subtle, saving the statement-making tie for another occasion. You can also choose a second shirt or blouse that is off white with a similar patterned tie for a different look. Women can customize their look by swapping out accessories such as a scarf or a sweater. Use accent colors such as pink or red to make a professional statement.

Your Personal Look

Men should attend a job fair with their hair neatly trimmed and their faces shaved. No five o’clock shadow look or new growth beard persona should be advanced. Existing facial hair should be neat and trimmed.

Women may wear makeup, but avoid wearing bright lipstick. Go light on the face makeup and avoid coloring the eyes. Choose colors that complement your skin color.

The Little Things

Oftentimes it is the little things that make a big difference when interviewing for a job. Those “things” include personal choices that you make including the tattoo on your neck, your pierced tongue or your purple hair.

If you want to make a personal statement, a career fair is not the place or time to do it. If you have a tattoo, cover it up. Excessive piercings — anything besides the ears — should be removed. That flame red hair color is not your real color or anyone else’s for that matter. Dye your hair to a more subtle shade or as close to a natural look as possible. You should also go light on the jewelry — one ring, one bracelet and one necklace are fine. Draw attention to what you can bring to a company and not to yourself. Interviewing is not about you and your needs, rather what assets you have that can benefit a potential employer.

Further Reading

College Career Fair Resume Advice

Make the Most Out of Your College Career Fair

Succeeding With Your Campus Interviews


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Categories: Career Planning