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Pajama bottoms, hooded sweatshirts and flip-flops may be appropriate attire for an 8 a.m. psychology lecture, but recent college graduates looking to enter the workforce might have to change their sartorial habits in order to make a good impression on job interviews and in the office.
"Appearance can have a large impact on an employer's first impression of a candidate," said Karen Dankers, a career counselor at the University of Pennsylvania. "A professional appearance can show good judgment, an understanding of the importance of the interview and a strong interest in the company."
According to a survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73 percent of employers said that an interviewee's grooming would have a "strong influence" on their opinion of a candidate. The survey also showed that employers pay attention not only to an interviewee's attire, but also to details like facial hair, piercings and hair color.
While it's common sense that appearance plays a large role in making a good impression, students may have a more difficult time figuring out exactly what is appropriate.
"I've had students ask everything from ‘What's the difference between business and business casual?' to ‘Should I take out my nose piercing?'" said UPenn career counselor Aileen Kyung Kim.
Melissa Payner, CEO of the online clothing retailer Bluefly.com, has some style tips to take some of the guesswork out of dressing for an important interview:...
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