Posted by Robert Half on 01 September 2014
There’s plenty of truth to the old adage “first impressions count” when starting a new job. Although a ready smile and a good attitude are definitely the most important things to bring to your first day, what you wear can set the tone for how you feel and how your new colleagues perceive you.
Not sure where to start when dressing for day one? Follow these tips to help you look and feel the part.
Start with the basics
The nature of your new role and the type of business you are working for are likely to dictate your future work wardrobe. For example, a creative agency may have a more relaxed dress code than a bank or finance company.
Think back to your interview – what was the general feeling of the office? Was it casual or corporate? How were the staff members who interviewed you dressed? Were they in suits or jeans and tees? Consider what you wore to your interview. Did you feel it matched those in your new workplace? This should serve as a sound reference point.
Do some research
Quite often, new staff members receive a welcome pack along with their contract. This generally outlines essential information about your new employer, such as their key processes, policies, corporate values and culture code. It’s also likely to detail the workplace dress standards. This may be as general as “no denim or sneakers” to more stringent policies around corporate attire only.
Also, hop on to the company website and social media properties and look for staff and event photos. This may help give you additional insight into how your new employer – and your fellow employees – present themselves in the public domain.
Ask the question
If you’re still a little unclear as to what to wear – ask. Your new manager, the company HR officer or your recruitment consultant should be able to offer some guidance as to what is expected. You’re bound to feel more confident dressing for your first day knowing what is and isn’t considered appropriate.
Dress for success
Now that you have a better sense of how to dress for your new job, here are a few tips to help bring it all together on the day.
- Dress for the job at hand. Wear clothing that you’re comfortable in and that makes you feel confident and professional. If you look good, you’ll feel good.
- As a general rule, it’s better to be a little overdressed than underdressed on your first day, particularly if you are meeting staff from across the business for the first time or having your photo taken for items such as security passes or the company website.
- If in doubt, keep it simple. Bypass anything too loud, offensive or fussy and go for classic colours and cuts and easy-wearing fabrics.
- Take pride in your appearance. Wash and iron your clothes in preparation, polish your shoes and be well groomed.
Now you should be ready to tackle your first day with confidence. Good luck!