Not sure what to wear to a job interview? You might want to play it safe — and classy — and simply don black.
According to a recent job applicant survey conducted by recruiting software firm SmartRecruiters, a whopping 70 percent of hired candidates wore mostly black clothing to their interview, while a mere 33 percent of rejected candidates wore black.
The survey included 180 successful applicants and 1,800 rejected candidates.
Jerome Ternynck, CEO at SmartRecruiters, tells MoneyWatch that job seekers should carefully select an interview outfit that reflects the company culture where you’re interviewing.
“You have to match [your outfit to] the company culture. If you show up in jeans at Citibank, it may not be well-received.”
Once you make it to the job interview, it’s important to make a good impression — and quickly.
In our story “Employers’ Top 5 ‘Instant Deal Breakers’ for Job Candidates,” we report that 50 percent of employers say that within the first five minutes of an interview, they can decide whether or not a candidate is a good fit.
Getting your resume noticed before the job interview
But before you get the opportunity to “wow” a potential employer in an interview — wearing a mostly black outfit appropriate for the work environment — you need to first pique their interest with your resume.
Keep in mind: Most companies have software programs known as applicant tracking systems (ATS) that “read” resumes before they’re potentially passed on to a hiring manager.
“That means your resume might never reach a human if the software can’t read it or misdirects it,” writes Money Talks News’ Karla Bowsher in “The Key to Getting Your Resume Noticed.”
It’s important to understand how the software works so you can tweak your resume to best match what an ATS is looking for. For example, keep your resume formatting simple. Bowsher writes:
Images, special characters, fancy formatting (like tables, shading, text boxes, borders and separators) — as well as typos — can also confuse an applicant tracking system.
How do you decide what to wear to a job interview? Share your interview experiences below or on Facebook.