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San Diego State University

Career Services

Professional Dressing for Success

Present yourself in a professional manner when interviewing. Your appearance affects how others evaluate you, your work style, attitude, and level of interest in a particular position. Additionally, professional dress helps build confidence and self-esteem, increasing the likelihood of interviewing success. Appearance matters!

The following instructions depict some guidelines for dressing appropriately in most interview settings. For more information, consult the 'interviewing' section of the Career Resources library or speak with a career counselor.

Both men and women:

  • Bring a folder/ portfolio  with extra copies of your resumé, list of resources, paper, and a pen
  • No facial piercings or jewelry
  • No food or gum


  • Attractive, controlled hairstyle, out of eyes and face
  • Minimal make-up and jewelry, no perfume
  • Solid-colored suit with knee-length skirt or tailored pants, and conservative blouse
  • Neutral hosiery without runs or snags
  • Basic leather shoes in good condition, with low heels and closed toes


  • Clean-shaven, neat, trimmed hair
  • No cologne
  • Conservative tie with a simple pattern
  • Clean, pressed 2-piece suit in a dark solid color (gray, navy)
  • Leather belt to match shoe color
  • Dark socks to match suit color
  • Black or brown leather, polished shoes