On Fashion Advice From Recruiters

Every morning as I eat my breakfast I have a choice: to browse through my Facebook feed or to read a couple of articles from seemingly more intellectual sources. (To my own embarrassment I often choose Facebook and Instagram, but let’s talk about this another time). Now, I am in HR and naturally a fair share of the articles and blogs that I read are  on HR regulations, performance management and  of course, hiring and recruiting.

The later are my favorite ones.

How to find a job. What 5 words you need to include in your resume. What 10 words you need to drop from your resume. What’s the best way to tackle the “What’s your salary requirement” question. X industry foresees growth in hiring this year – ever thought of changing your field? How to make impression during the first 10 seconds of the interview.

When I just met my husband, he used to think that the recruiters are useless and it’s a mickey-mouse job. I used to argue that the recruiters are great because they help you get employed. I myself was doing full cycle recruiting  for few years. I know first hand that this job is not always rewarding, you have to love it to do it well, and I feel sorry for the recruiters because they are basically a fine sieve of the company, and boy are there the funky chunks that get into this sieve.

But sometimes when I read  articles like “6 Worst Things To Wear To The Job Interview” I can’t even.

“Make sure your clothes are not stained, broken or ill-fitted”. Let’s not even talk that by the age of 10 the kids have heard enough nagging from their moms about their clothes needing to be clean and neat if they leave the house. This part of advice can be easily skipped, if you ask me.  Let’s just talk about the interview dress code in general

Last time I checked unless you are a surgeon or you work in a food processing facility, your clothes have nothing to do with the quality of your work.  I dig through the  invoices and performance reviews equally well wearing the fitted skirt and heels when I am in the office and in my pajamas when I am working from home. If I ever miss anything, it’s because I am tired, not paying attention or overwhelmed. Never because there is a picture of the bear wearing the hat and the skis on my pajamas shirt.

If you are casting for the model show, your outfit is important, I get it. The right outfit helps you promote yourself, shows of your body curves and get a job. If you are interviewing for the position of the graphic designer, how do the “jewelry in moderation” or “pastel colors” help me as a recruiter understand that you are a talented person?

I tell you what. They don’t.

Can we just stop pretending that these things matter when they don’t? Can we start simplifying our lives by just being honest with ourselves and each other at least when it comes to an interview outfit?  “Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity” (с).

If I wrote this kind of article, I would say: wear what you feel like. Use your rational judgement and common sense. Wearing too much perfume is not polite not only during the job interview. Wearing a suite and a tie for a network engineer position interview makes little sense.  Wearing a red shirt might help you feel more confident if that’s your favorite color, even though it’s not pastel. Life is too short to be pretending.

On the other hand, showing up for an interview in your bunny-slippers (happened to me once) will definitely make you stand from the crowd – but it might be not in a way that you want. Or it might.

Too bad I don’t write this kind of articles.


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