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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

What NOT to Wear to an Interview

Published May 21, 2007 11:28 AM by Gail Guterl

Please, tell me the truth. Is it me or am I imagining this? Are candidates for jobs looking less and less professional? I feel old just for noticing but recent summer internship candidates - college students - have looked, well, scruffy. One candidate's dark slacks were smudged and her hair wasn't combed. Another had on such a tight shirt (on a not-so-svelte body) I was concerned for the buttons. In addition, her too tight shirt exposed more flesh than I would like to see in the bathtub.

Note to nursing students: Even if you are applying for a summer externship or a job as a nursing assistant, please dress professionally. We realize you don't have a lot of money to buy a suit and that isn't required. But neatly combed hair, a clean shirt (that fits) and ironed slacks will make a better impression. If you don't believe me because I am an old fogy, read some of the comments from recruiters in several articles that appeared inprint in ADVANCE for Nurses. I think April Mickelson, MBA, BSN, RN, said it best in a Career Advice article, "A Memorable Meeting." Mickelson wrote: "On the day of your interview image becomes everything." And it does because it's the first impression you make.

Remember "Interviews are to be taken seriously, and you won't be if you're dressed like you're ready to party or to relax," reminds healthcare recruiter Kerri Naylor, LPN in another Career Advice article.

More advice can be found in Dressing for Success

And for this old fogy, please make sure the parts of your body that your mother diapered are covered up.

--Gail O. Guterl, Editor of ADVANCE for Nurses in the Areas of PA/NJ/DE and MD/DC/VA


cool yo

bob December 4, 2007 12:21 PM

Whither Professionalism?

Another blogger on these boards has talked about interview candidates dressing poorly--I'd like to comment on another area where professionalism seems to be going out the window: continuing ed conferences and job fairs.

I'm constantly surprised by how sloppily people dress at professional nursing conferences/job fairs. While they may not be looking for a job, they are at a professional event, so they should leave the flipflops and pajama bottoms at home. Scrubs are fine, especially if they have come to the event from work or are going to work afterward.

Also, I'm annoyed at how some attendees seem to think the lecture room is their living room. Cups and snack trash are left on chairs or the floor--and they put their feet up on the chair in front of them (infection control anyone?)

Maybe I'm just too fussy...

Abbey Scott, , senior associate editor ADVANCE for Nurses May 22, 2007 12:36 PM
King of Prussia PA

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