Career Fair Preparation: Look Smart, Feel Smart, Be Smart

Many thanks to Charlie Owen for writing this great post last year about getting ‘shined up’ and ready for the career fair!  This year PGP has some great professional clothing that has been donated by staff, faculty and alumni in case you are having some trouble finding that one piece to complete your ensemble.  We have women’s and men’s clothing, blouses, blazers, pants for you to take a look at.  Email Suzanne to make an appointment if you’d like to ‘shop for free’ before October 4th!

Whether it’s designing a microsatellite, coding an autonomous drone, or building a 3D glass printer, Oliners are always up to amazing things. However determining what to do is the easy part. Explaining what we do at Olin, or how it’s different, is a tad more difficult. It’s even harder when a potential employer is too focused on your messy hair or untucked shirt to listen to what you are saying. We all know it is vital to make a good first impression – be it at a Career Fair, job interview, networking event, or just meeting newcomers around Olin. Unfortunately, your innovative new project isn’t the first thing other’s see; your appearance is. Engineers and fashion haven’t always had the best track record, so here’s a quick guide to looking as smart as you are so that you can get back to benevolent world domination (or whatever your new project is).


The Basics

There are a few things that every student should know before they meet a potential job provider. As a general rule above all else, keep it clean and well fitting.


Debugging the Dress Code

If you have a couple of classy outfits on hand, but don’t know which one to wear because “business casual” makes just about as much sense to you as partial differential equations, it can be tricky to try to choose the right level of formality. Too much and you look out of place, but too little and you come off as sloppy and unprepared.

General guidelines include:

Interview -- Suit and tie, or dress

Formal Presentation (Capstone, conference, etc.) -- Similar to interview wear

Career Fair -- Suit, blazer and khakis, dress, or skirt and cardigan

Facility Tour -- closed toe shoes, comfortable dress pants/khakis, nice short sleeved shirt




Be Comfortable

No matter what you wear it is important that you feel comfortable in your wardrobe. Although you don’t want your clothes to distract, adding in a touch of your own personal style will help you feel more professional and collected. Confidence will come off to a potential employer but if you don’t feel right it is hard to convey your personality and ideas properly.

Feel good in what you choose and the rest is easy (after all, it’s not like its engineering or anything)!

Posted in: From Our Staff