Dress like you mean business

Dress like you mean business

Joelle Conway

Ever heard the phrase “dress for the job you want?”

The phrase is appropriate in regards to how one should dress for the career fair. If you are actively looking for a job or internship, business formal attire is most appropriate. How you dress can be seen as a reflection of your character to these employers. Thus, Career Services at Washburn partnered with JCPenny for the Suit-Up Event in preparation for the Career Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11.

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, the Suit-Up Event attracted Washburn students with discounts on business casual and formal wear.

Students checked in at a table before they began their shopping spree. At the table, they were given an additional 30% coupon to use on their qualifying purchase that stacked on already discounted items.

Clothing and shoe racks marked with red indicated what qualified for the discount. Certain luggage, neckwear, undergarments, belts, briefcases, handbags, scrubs and jewelry were also included in the discount.

About 130 Washburn University and Washburn Law students attended the event. Kent McAnally, director of career services, said about one-third of students were from the law school and the rest were undergraduate.

Among the students in attendance, Caleb Soliday, senior political science major, was present. Soliday expressed how this event is an opportunity for students to obtain quality formal wear.

“I think this event is great. There are a lot of students looking for jobs and internships who don’t have business attire. It can be expensive, especially if you have to buy everything you need all at once,” said Soliday. “On behalf of the poor college kids like myself, thank you JCPenny and career services for the discounts and support.”

Career Services expects to continue partnering with JCPenny for, at least, a yearly event. These plans have not been solidified, but have been an ongoing conversation since the successful event.

The annual fall career fair has about 110 employers registered for the event. The fair includes both graduate and undergraduate opportunities. Many industries will be in attendance. Thus, a variety of majors and interests at Washburn are catered to through the fair. McAnally recommends all majors attend to browse opportunities and network.

“I highly recommend that you look at the list of employers that are coming or graduate programs on Handshake. Take a look at people that you think you might want to talk to,” said McAnally.

McAnally also encourages students to come with an open mind, as they might find an exceptional opportunity that wasn’t part of their original plans.

While websites such as Indeed and LinkedIn are useful for job searching, face-to-face interaction increases chances of being remembered or hired by an employer. Thus, career services highly encourages students come network and make connections with professionals.

“Even if you’re not ready to graduate and look for a full-time job, this is a chance to start making some contacts. Those employers will hopefully keep coming back and be there again when you are ready, and possibly remember you,” said McAnally.

You should also bring resumes to the fair to provide to employers of your interest. Many employers will have you follow up with an online application afterwards, though. For those who don’t have an online application, be sure to take a business card.

Edited by Adam White, Jessica Galvin, Brianna Smith