Skill Up: What to Wear to Work Experience

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A graphic showing young people wondering what to wear to work experience or an interview

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We all have different ideas of style and what we choose to wear outside of school or out with friends is up to us. But with school and work, things change a bit.

In these situations we need to fit in with the organisation's style and so we're faced with rules, ideas and expectations of what to wear to work experience and our job.

And in job interviews it's even more important to think about what we wear, as our outfit is one of the big things that can help us make a good first impression.

So what should I wear?

Every organisation has a different idea of what's appropriate to wear to work. For example, in some creative industries it's pretty common to wear jeans and trainers, whereas in a law firm, nearly everyone wears a suit. In some jobs you'll need to wear a uniform to work, which at least takes the decision out of your hands!

However, whatever the industry you work in and whatever the dress code, there are a 3 key tips that pretty much everyone agrees on when it comes to deciding what job interview or work experience clothes to wear:

1. You need to be well presented

Whatever you wear, it needs to be neat and clean, so get the iron out, polish your shoes and tuck in your shirt. (Remember your body language is important too!)

2. Don't over-accessorise!

Jewellery, makeup and accessories should be kept simple and to a minimum (unless your job directly involves them!).

For jewellery, a good rule of thumb is no more than one of anything, so one set of plain earrings, one ring or one simple necklace should be OK.  Save hats and sunglasses for outdoors too. An interviewer needs to be able to see your face clearly and you don't want to distract them with your headgear (plus it'll just look plain weird!).

3. Dress to impress

When it comes to job interview outfits as most employers expect you to dress smartly, even if the normal dress code at work is casual. Remember, you're dressing to impress them!

The same goes for work experience clothes. Be smart on your first day - you can always dress down if your boss says it's OK.

So what exactly does "dressing smartly" mean? It's not just about wearing something new or expensive. There are certain kinds of clothes that people generally agree on as smart. For example, suits, ties, button down shirts and plain dark coloured clothing are all common gear.

We've put together a handy infographic to give you some ideas about the kinds of clothes that can help you make a great first impression at a job interview, work experience or first day at work.

infographic how to dress for job interviews work experience

Choosing the right interview and work experience clothes can really help, but it's not just about appearance. Here are some more tips to help you out come your work experience placement or interview:

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