Career Newsletter, 10/27/2016

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Dress the Part: What to Wear While Job Searching

Hiring season is in full swing and you’ll likely be attending numerous career events in the near future — information sessions, company socials, career fairs, and hopefully some interviews, too. Knowing how to how to dress depending on the setting is important. Wearing appropriate clothing is an easy way to make a good first impression and can give you increased confidence while talking with potential employers. Today’s post offers a brief guide on dressing the part for various events.

Information sessions

The majority of information sessions are held on campus during the school day. Recruiters will understand you’re coming to the event in between classes, so wearing everyday attire is perfectly acceptable. You’ll still want to look presentable — i.e., no sweatpants, leggings, shirts with offensive graphics, or torn clothing — but nothing formal is necessary. Nice jeans and a button-up shirt or sweater can help you stand out without looking out of place.

Company socials

The dress code can vary for company socials, but will often be business casual (if you’re unsure, you can always ask the recruiter/point of contact). “Business casual” can present some ambiguities, so below I’ve provided a chart to help you decipher the term.


·         Button-up shirt (solid color or subtle pattern)

·         Blouse

·         Sweater (solid, dark color)

·         In summer, polo or collared short-sleeve shirt

·         Blazer optional


·         Slacks (black, grey, navy, or khaki)

·         Knee-length skirt (dark color)

·         Dress (solid, dark color or subtle pattern)


·         Oxfords, derbies, or similar lace-ups; loafers

·         Heels or ballet flats


·         Watch

·         Jewelry (small amount, nothing bulky)

·         Tie unnecessary

Career fairs

We’ve gotten through the bulk of career fairs, but there are still a few ahead, including the iSchool Career Fair on Tuesday, Jan. 31 (mark your calendars!). Generally speaking, career fairs call for something a tad dressier than company socials. That said, you want to be mindful of the fact you’ll be moving around in a room full of people and it could get hot. A suit minus the blazer can work well, and leaving out the tie is okay too. Dresses, and skirts paired with a nice shirt or sweater, are also suitable. In terms of “accessories,” bring only a small bag — many fairs prohibit backpacks to avoid congestion.


Interviews require the most formal attire. For the majority of companies, a full suit is your best bet. Check out places like Nordstrom Rack, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for relatively affordable options.

Also keep in mind that some companies prefer you not wear full formal attire to interview. They’ll usually make this known beforehand, and you can always check Glassdoor, but if you’re unsure it’s okay to ask your point of contact.

For more information on the differences between business casual and business formal, read here and here.

If you’ve passed the interview stage and are wondering what to wear on the job, check out this blog post from millennial workplace expert Lindsay Pollak.

Upcoming events


(Please RSVP via iCareers for any iSchool event you plan to attend, unless otherwise noted.)

10/27: Resume Café; 1:00 – 3:00pm, Suzzallo Café

Join Dean and Alycia for a quick drop-in appointment to help polish your resume. Appointments will be 15 minutes or lessPlease note drop-in advising will be 3:15 – 4:15pm in order to accommodate the event. 

10/28: Amazon Catalyst Information Session; 12:30 – 1:20pm, MGH 231

Amazon Catalyst is a collaboration between Amazon and the UW to help current UW students, faculty, and staff fund their big ideas. The program is open to all three UW campuses, proposals can be submitted across all disciplines, and grants awarded can be up to $100,000.

11/02: Negotiation Workshop; 12:30 – 1:20pm, BLD 070

Salary can be an awkward topic to broach with potential employers. Check out this workshop so you can be prepared to negotiate when the conversation strikes.

11/03: ProQuest Office Hours; 12:30 – 2:00pm, MGH 173R

A representative from ProQuest will be on campus to discuss openings for their part-time Content Support Specialist position. Job has the potential to transition into full-time work.

Career & Internship Center

11/01: Getting Started: Cover Letters; 3:30 – 4:00pm, MGH 134

11/01: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) InfoSession; 5:30 – 7:30pm, MGH 134

11/02: LinkedIn Lab; 2:30 – 3:20pm, MGH 134

For additional events, visit the iSchool and Career Center websites.

Top job/internship opportunities:

  • Data Analyst, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation; iCareers ID 5060
  • Excel Analyst, Teleion Consulting; HuskyJobs ID 108706
  • Librarian, Benson Hill Elementary; iCareers ID 5364
  • Data Automation Intern, Zillow; HuskyJobs ID 108689
  • Library Services and Vocabulary Management Internships, Boeing; iCareers ID 5376

One thought on “Career Newsletter, 10/27/2016

  1. Pingback: Career Newsletter, 1/12/2017 (ICF Tip #1 – Dress to Impress) | UW iSchool Office of Student Services Blog

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