Career Newsletter, 10/26/2017

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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 a lot of career events in the near future — information sessions, company socials, career fairs, and hopefully some interviews, too. Knowing how to dress depending on the setting is important. Wearing appropriate clothing is an easy to way to make a good first impression and can give you increased confidence. 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 — shirts with offensive graphics can probably be left at home — but nothing formal is necessary. If you’re really feeling ambitious, nice jeans and a button-up shirt or sweater can help you stand out without seeming out of place.

Networking events

The dress code for company socials and formalized networking events can vary, 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 is a chart to help you decipher the phrase.


·         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)


Career fairs

We’ve gotten through a number of career fairs already, but there are still a few ahead, including the iSchool Career Fair on Tuesday, Jan. 30 (mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information). Generally speaking, career fairs call for something a tad dressier than standard networking events, but you also 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, or 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 congestions.


Interviews have traditionally called for a full suit, but outside of the finance industry and occasional consulting position, this expectation has been relaxed. Most organizations, particularly those within the tech industry, have started emphasizing less formal attire in the workplace, and there’s an expectation that interviewees follow suit.

Here’s how Amazon puts it on their career site:

“Amazon has a casual work environment. While some positions in our fulfillment centers may limit certain clothing for safety reasons, most of our offices are filled with people wearing everyday clothes. Dress nicely, but comfortably. A suit and tie won’t impress anyone here.”

Nicely, but comfortably. In other words, career fair attire should usually be just fine for interviews, too. And if you’re ever unsure about what’s appropriate, you can always check Glassdoor or ask your point of contact at the company.

(Finally, if you do need a suit, try Nordstrom Rack, Macy’s, and Kohl’s for relatively affordable options.)

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

And 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” Lindsey Pollak.

Upcoming events


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

10/26: Concur Coding Challenge: Presentations; 11:30am – 1:00pm, MGH 258

Concur, an SAP company, is in the process of expanding its web services business. The company is hosting a coding challenge with the hopes of highlighting its API to students. This is the second portion of the two-part event. Each team will present their idea and proof of concept in front a panel of judges. Presentations will be three minutes long.

10/31: Microsoft Resume Reviews; 1:00 – 3:00pm, MGH 224

Representatives from Microsoft will be on campus to meet individually with iSchool students and provide resume assistance. Students must register for a time slot on SignUpGenius. All slots currently full.

11/1: Careers in User Research for Grad Students; 4:30 – 6:00pm, HUB 340

Curious about user research? Wondering if the quantitative or qualitative methods you use in your graduate work might translate to a career in the tech industry? Hear Seattle-area user researchers share their stories.

11/1: MLIS Alumni & Student Reception; 6:00 – 7:30pm, OUGL 220

MLIS students are invited to a reception for alumni and current students. Alumni will talk about their experience job searching out of graduate school and give insight on what they wish they’d known while at the UW.

11/2: Negotiation Workshop; 12:30 – 1:20pm, BLD 070

Whether you already have a job or internship lined up, or anticipate getting one soon, negotiation skills are important to leverage. Check out this workshop so you can be prepared to negotiate when the conversation strikes.

UW Career & Internship Center

10/26: Government Job & Internship Fair; 2:00 – 5:00pm, MGH Commons

10/26: Visa InfoSession; 5:30 – 7:30pm, MGH 134

10/30: Getting Started: Gaining Experience Employers Want; 12:30 – 1:00pm, MGH 134

10/30: Transfer Students: Career Transition 101; 3:30 – 4:20pm, MG H134

11/2: Home Country Job Search for International Students; 1:30 – 2:20pm, MGH 134

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

Top job/internship opportunities

  • Linked Data Specialist, UW Libraries; iCareers ID 6740
  • Student Assistant, UW Integrated Service Center; iCareers ID 6780
  • Alaska Airlines tech internships (3), Alaska Airlines; iCareers IDs 6774-6 (deadline to apply 10/29)
  • BECU tech internships (3), BECU; iCareers IDs 6758-60
  • Content Analyst Directed Fieldwork, UW Medicine Records Management Services; iCareers ID 6761
  • Software Engineer, MAQ Software; HuskyJobs ID 120284
  • UX and UI Designer, MAQ Software; HuskyJobs ID 120286
  • Assistant Law Librarian (permanent part-time), Clark County Law Library; iCareers ID 6770
  • Assistant Librarian – Portland Branch Library, U.S. court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; HuskyJobs ID 120267

One thought on “Career Newsletter, 10/26/2017

  1. Pingback: ICF Tip #1 — Dress to Impress | UW iSchool Office of Student Services Blog

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