Dressing for Success

By: Brian Carhide

professional dressIt is the beginning of the fall 2014 semester and the campuses are buzzing with excitement and Eagle Pride! Many of the seasoned students know that the fall semester is the time to dust off the suit and shine the shoes. On Thursday October 2, 2014 and Wednesday October 8, 2014, respectively, the Prescott and Daytona Beach campuses will be hosting their annual Industry/Career Expo. The events are professional dress events and to those who have experienced the Industry/Career Expo know that looking your best is essential to success.

If you are attending the Expo and whether you are seeking a job or just networking, we encourage professional dress to make that crucial first impression count. Dressing professionally not only shows an employer you mean business, but it exudes confidence. It lets the employer know that you are serious about being a part of their team. The aviation/aerospace industry expectations are that of basic colors, clean look, and conservative styles. Below are some general guidelines for both male and female expo dress:


The Suit

  • Fabric: the best choice is 100% wool
  • A suit with a knee-length skirt and a tailored blouse is most appropriate
  • The most suitable colors include charcoal, medium gray, steel gray, black, and navy blue
  • Jackets should be simple, well-tailored and stylish, and fall just at the hips
  • Jackets should have smooth seams, even hemlines, correctly hanging linings, and well-sewn buttons

The Skirt

  • A skirt should fall just at or no more than 2” above the knee; stick with solid colors
  • A one-piece business dress with a matching jacket is popular

The Blouse

  • It is best to wear long sleeves; it projects an authoritative, professional look
  • Never wear a sleeveless blouse
  • Solid colors and natural fabrics are the best selections (particularly cotton and silk)
  • Acceptable colors include white and cream. Pale pink, soft yellow or light blue (only if it works with the overall look)
  • A classic softened collar works best with suits. The button-down collar should be worn when interviewing with a conservative company

The Shoes

  • They should preferably be leather
  • Colors; brown, black, navy, or burgundy
  • The color should always be the same as or a darker tone than your skirt
  • Flats are fine; a shoe with a heel of up to about 2 ½ “ is perfectly acceptable
  • The pump is the safest and most conservative look; a closed heel with a slightly open toe and the sling-back shoe with a closed toe are also acceptable


The Suit

  • The most acceptable colors are navy through medium blue and black through charcoal
  • Fabric should be 100% wool. Why? Wool looks and wears better than any other material
  • Pinstripes are acceptable, so long as the stripes are very narrow and muted
  • A well-fitted two-piece suit is preferable; more refined, less showy
  • There should be no pull at the jacket shoulders, no gape at the back, and the cuffs should break at your wrists

The Shirt

  • Rule One: Always wear a long-sleeved shirt
  • Rule Two: Always wear a white, cream, or pale blue shirt
  • Rule Three: Never violate Rules One or Two
  • Remember, the paler and more subtle the shade, the better the impression you will make
  • Make sure your shirt fits properly; the collar should fit the neck properly

The Neckwear (Ties)

  • A pure silk tie makes the most powerful professional impact, has the best finish and feel, and is the easiest to tie
  • When tied, the tie should cover the belt buckle
  • Most appropriate knots are: Four-in-Hand, Windsor, and Half Windsor

The Shoes

  • They should either be black or brown
  • Lace-up wing tips are the most conservative choice and are most universally accepted

For additional resources on dress visit: http://careers.erau.edu/land-offer/interviewing/prepare/index.html

The career services office wants you to be successful, and if you do not have a suit or are not seeking a job or internship, we still encourage you to dress professionally. Please refrain from wearing items such as shorts, t-shirts, blue (or any other color) jeans, sandals, etc. (military and religious attire is acceptable). If you are not dressed in a suitable manner, you will be asked to change and return to the event. It is in your best interest to be dressed appropriately and save the shorts and flip flops for after the event.

Have a great semester and we look forward to seeing you in October at the Industry/Career Expo!

Brian Carhide has more than 20 years of professional aviation experience. He spent many years as a professional pilot, including experience as a charter and airline pilot. He has been a leader in guiding young aviators in higher education at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is the Executive Director of Career Services.


Your First Day of Work Has Arrived

By Valerie Kielmovitch

first dayYou did it! After all of the waiting and applying, you nailed the interview and accepted your first full-time position! Your first day of work has finally arrived. But how do you prepare for this momentous occasion after all the years of schooling?

Below is a list of items to consider:

  • Dress Attire – It is always better to be overdressed for your first day of work than be underdressed. Remember, your dress will be making a first impression on all of your new colleagues.
  • Personal Documents – Typically, there will be a period of filling out paperwork to ensure you receive all the benefits of the position. Ensure you remember to bring identifying documents with you on your first day, such as driver’s license, social security card, green card, I-20, etc.
  • Be Prepared – Before you wake up for your first day, make sure you know actually where you will be going. Being on time and knowing the location for your position are crucial to starting off on the right foot.
  • Lunch – It never hurts to pack a few extra items for lunch in case the company doesn’t have a cafeteria or the culture does not permit leaving during the day. However, try to ask a colleague to lunch or ask what people typically do during their lunch hour.

Remember that everyone had a first day on the job once, so do not be afraid to ask questions. Don’t pressure yourself to master your new job in a day or even a week. The learning curve will take some time, so be patient with yourself. Go in with a positive attitude and be a strong professional!

Valerie Kielmovitch has been working as a Program Manager in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2010. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida and Master of Education specializing in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina. Valerie has a diverse background in the field of higher education from residence life to career services.

Employer Advice Spotlight: Better to be Overdressed than Underdressed

By Joshua Pringle

Joshua Pringle is the Director of Marketing at CO2Meter, a leader in Carbon Dioxide metering, sensing, and detection. CO2Meter designs, manufactures and distributes industry leading devices to consumers and companies in diverse business segments. Mr. Pringle has put together a series of articles providing advice, from a company’s perspective, on interviewing. This post is the last one for the spring term.

InterviewDiversityThe reason something becomes a cliché is because it actually has truth to it. So when I say, “First impressions are everything,” I really do mean it. Especially when interviewing for an internship or job. When the interviewer opens the door to greet you for the first time, how you are dressed SCREAMS at them and sets the tone for the conversation you are about to have.

A few notes about dress requirements: Business Attire means a suit and tie (sport coat minimum), Business Casual means dressed nicely but no tie (sorry ladies), and in business circles, Casual means a polo or button shirt or blouse and nice dress pants and dress shoes (not flip flops and Hawaiian shirts).

Here are some important keys to your dress for the future.

1) Everyone, buy a business suit. A suit says “professional” unlike anything else. Men’s Warehouse, Jos. A. Bank, and Brooks Brothers all offer great suits at great prices for the gentlemen.
2) When wearing a tie, keep it tied. Do not wear a tie or your shirt undone. You are interviewing for a job/internship not modeling for GQ.
3) Leave excess jewelry/accessories at home. Think minimal. The cleaner your look, the better. Don’t wear a watch, so you aren’t tempted to check the time. While you are in the interview, there is not a single thing on the planet more important for that time period. Stay focused!
4) Don’t make the interview day the first time you are wearing your new suit. Try it on a few days ahead of time. The idea here is to get comfortable in it because nothing says “I’m nervous” more than someone who is clearly uncomfortable in their clothes.
5) Don’t ruin your outfit with dirty or poorly matched socks and shoes.
6) NO perfume or cologne. What if your interviewer had an ex-husband who wore Polo? Subconsciously she is going to be predisposed to not liking you.

But the best tip I can give you is this: it is far better to be overdressed than underdressed! You can always take off your tie to meet a situation, but unless you keep a spare tie in your car, it’s difficult to add a tie to your outfit. Be the best dressed person in the room. You will be noticed and thought of highly.

Unfortunately part of the interview process, and even the business process overall, is selling yourself. Most people are uncomfortable talking about themselves, what they’ve accomplished, or even what they want to do. Dressing professionally helps ease that “sales” process because, when you are dressed professionally, you are already viewed as a quality candidate.

Professional Dress

By Emily Ferraro

When it comes to dressing professionally, there are basic guidelines in place for “what to wear” and “what not to wear,” but it’s not always easy to assert what is right for each and every person. Just like any other day, choosing what to wear is about personal style, comfort, and setting. When trying to figure out what to wear to an interview or how to build your professional wardrobe, it’s best to keep the basics in mind and then let your style be found in the details.

Below are some simple guidelines to follow when preparing for an interview, followed by tips on how to build a wardrobe for business casual settings both in the office as well conferences and events.

Interview Dress Tips:

men first











  • Always wear a suit (it’s best to be formal no matter what the level of interview)
  • Men can wear two-piece matching suits in conservative colors such as black, navy, dark grey (wool, wool-blend and other quality fibers are best); to make the best impression, tailor it to fit you properly
  • Men should wear long-sleeve shirts in basic colors such as white, light blue, or conservative patterns
  • Always tuck in shirt
  • Socks should be mid-calf length in a dark color
  • Always match your shoes to your belt
  • Invest in nice pair of dress shoes; laces or loafers are appropriate
  • Keep hair out of face, well groomed, shaved and clean
  • Do not wear a strong fragrance/cologne

women suit











  • Always wear a suit (it’s best to be formal no matter what the level of interview)
  • Women can wear skirt suits or pantsuits (black, navy, and grey are recommended)
  • Skirts should match blazer and should be no shorter than fingertip length when arms are down
  • Tops can be long-sleeve button-down, quality knit sweater, or shell under jacket (not see-through, and no cleavage)
  • Women should wear close-toed shoes (heels should stay under 3-4 inches)
  • Always match your shoes to your belt
  • Do not wear a strong fragrance/perfume
  • Make sure nails are well-groomed and, if painted, choose a light, neutral color
  • Keep hair out of face, well groomed and clean
  • Always tuck shirt into pants or skirt
  • Keep jewelry simple and minimal
  • Wear natural looking makeup (no bright lipsticks or smoky eyes)
  • Bag or briefcase should not be too large or bright/accessorized

Professional Dress Tips:

When it comes to creating your professional look, it’s recommended that you incorporate pieces that are versatile and can be worked into several different outfits. These tips are great for building a wardrobe that can be worn in any professional setting.

women, multi









  • Black dress pants, pencil skirt
  • One pair of black pumps/one pair of nude pumps (also try grey/navy)
  • One black, navy or neutral colored dress
  • Tailored blazer (recommend black or navy)
  • Dark wash denim jeans
  • Basic shells/camisoles
  • A few blouses that can be layered (basic colors and light patterns)
  • Some classic dress shirts
  • Cardigans for layering
  • Belts (black/brown)

men, multi











  • Formal basic suit
  • Casual blazers (khaki/navy/grey)
  • Dress shirts- standard button downs (basic colors, light patterns)
  • Oxford shirts
  • Light sweaters (browns/blues/greens)
  • Dark wash jeans
  • Natural colored chinos
  • Belts (black/brown)
  • Dress watch
  • Dress shoes (black and brown)
  • About 3 ties (matching colors in shirts)
  • Polo’s and basic T’s
  • Cuff links

What Not to Wear:

Lastly, always consider the fashion “don’ts” when putting together your outfits. Everyone has different tolerance levels for what they consider professional dress, so remember the basics and dress to your comfort level and personal style. Check out our Pinterest board on “What not to wear – Men and Women” for great visuals and advice on what’s a definite no-no in any professional setting.

what not to wear









Emily Ferraro is new to the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students to help them achieve their personal and professional career goals and specializes in topics such as personal branding and resume writing.

Professional Dress for the 2013 Daytona Beach Industry/Career Expo

Picture1The 2013 Daytona Beach Industry/Career Expo will be Wednesday, October 9, and Career Services wants to give you a reminder about the professional dress code for the event.

Professional attire should include the following:

  • Both men and women should wear suits (skirt or pant suits for the ladies) that fit properly; navy, gray, soft black and other dark colors are most appropriate
  • The length of a skirt should reach below or to the knee
  • Gentlemen should wear button down shirts and ties
  • Traditional ties should complement the suit and shirt color and should be in a conservative pattern and color
  • Ladies should wear conservative or appropriate blouses
  • Colors for shirts should be muted; white, off-white or light blue are the most recommended colors
  • Shoes should be polished and professional
  • Ladies should wear closed-toe shoes; pantyhose are good for the ladies wearing skirt suits
  • Socks, for both men and women, should match the shoe or pant color

The minimum professional dress allowed is business casual, but you must dress according to the industry standard for the job you are seeking at the Expo.  Business casual entails khaki pants and a collared (polo) shirt for the gentlemen and slacks/skirt and a blouse/sweater for the ladies.  Alternate suggestions for the gentlemen can include a navy blazer, slacks or button down shirt without a tie.  Ladies can also wear professional dresses, khaki pants and collared (polo) shirts.

Flight and ROTC uniforms are appropriate Expo dress.  Religious and cultural attire will be accepted.

You will be turned away from the event if you wear any of the following clothing types:

  • Ripped or torn jeans
  • Shorts
  • Athletic or workout clothing
  • Baseball caps or other hats
  • T-shirts with inappropriate or crude images or wording
  • Overly revealing clothing of any kind
  • Shoes inappropriate for a conservative office environment
  • Mid-thigh length or above skirts

Professional attire is expected if you want to enter the ICI Center floor for the October 9th event.   If you do not meet the minimum standards, you will be asked to leave and come back once dressed appropriately.  Employers want to see you at your professional best, and dress is definitely part of that equation.

Please visit the Career Services Pinterest group and peruse the What to Wear – Men, What to Wear – Women and What Not to Wear – Men and Women boards for ideas on professional dress.

Dress Professionally for Interview Success

by Kristy Amburgey

You have researched the company with which you will be interviewing.  You Job-Interview-Dressing-for-Successhave practiced your answers to interview questions.  You have printed out your resume.  You have thank you cards for after the interview.  You are ready to conquer that interview!  But did you think about what you will wear during the interview process?  What you wear makes a distinct first impression, so you want to dress in the most professional and fitting attire for your interview situation.  For many of the career fields within aviation and aerospace, conservative attire is key.  For other career fields, you may find that less formal business dress is appropriate.


A business suit is the most appropriate attire for an interview.  For both men and women, a suit conveys authority, power and professionalism.  Suits should fit well and be altered or tailored as needed.  Ladies can wear either pant or skirt suits, but the skirt must hit at or below the knee.  Suit colors can vary, but the most conservative color palettes are navy, grey and soft black; dark colors are best when selecting a suit.


The shirt you wear under your suit should also be subdued in color and fit.  Gentlemen should wear a long-sleeved, button down shirt.  Ladies can wear button down shirts as well; other choices include knit, rayon, silk or other smooth fabric shirts with a neckline appropriate for an office setting.  The recommended colors of the shirts are white, off white or light blue.  Other shirt colors can be considered, but it is best to be conservative in your choice.  Fit is just as important in a shirt as in a suit.  Ensure that the neckline, sleeves and length fit well and select shirts that do not pull or gap down the front.


Gentlemen should wear ties with their suits and long-sleeved shirts.  The tie should be in a restrained pattern or a solid that complements the colors of the shirt and suit.

Shoes and Socks/Stockings

Shoes are also an important piece of an interview outfit and can convey a distinct message about how you present yourself.  Always wear clean, polished, un-scuffed shoes that are for a professional work environment.  Gentlemen, wing-tips and lace-ups are common dress shoes and considered professional.  Ladies, closed-toe flats and heels are appropriate; keep the heel height to no more than two to three inches.  If wearing socks, the color should match your pants or shoes.  Ladies, it is recommended that you wear pantyhose when wearing a skirt suit.


Gentlemen, a belt, braces, tie bar, cuff links, jewelry, a watch and other accessories can be appropriate.  Just limit the number of pieces you wear to avoid distracting the interviewers.  Ladies can also wear accessories like jewelry and a watch; ensure that the jewelry enhances your look without overwhelming you.


Good hygiene and grooming are just as imperative as what you wear.  Pay attention to the small details that can make you look and feel ready for the interview. Ensure that your nails are clean and you are showered and fresh.  Ladies, get touch ups on any outgrown hair color or highlights and select hair styles that will prevent you from playing with strands during the interview.  Makeup should be muted but enhance your look, if you choose to wear it.  Gentlemen, trim facial hair if applicable and ensure your hair has been recently cut and is neat.

There are certain things to avoid when dressing for an interview.  Avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing or too ill-fitting.  Don’t wear pieces with stains, rips, missing buttons or other issues that convey you don’t care about your appearance.  Avoid strong colognes, perfumes and other smells that not everyone appreciates.  Fresh breath is always a benefit; avoid drinking strong beverages or smoking right before an interview.

For the ladies and gentlemen, there are some alternatives to interview dress.  Ladies, you can wear a dress and suit jacket combination.  Gentlemen, for certain industries, you can wear a pair of slacks with a navy blazer and button-down shirt with tie.  At times, certain career fields will find a pressed polo shirt and ironed khaki pants appropriate.

It is important to always research the industry, field and company to identify their standards for interview attire.  For an interview, it is best to dress above the standard of what your future employer would consider professional dress.

Please visit the Career Services Pinterest group and peruse the What to Wear – Men, What to Wear – Women and What Not to Wear – Men and Women boards for ideas on professional dress.

For both the Prescott, AZ  (October 3) and Daytona Beach, FL (October 9) Industry/Career Expos, professional dress is required.  Over the summer, plan your Expo event attire.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

Dress for Success

by Jessica Steinmann

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, the Women’s Center brought Lisa Maile, a professional speaker and image consultant from Orlando, Florida, to host “Dress for Success.” This event informed female students on how to look their best so that they could feel confident while attending a job interview, conference, career fair and/or even everyday work in their respective fields. The feedback was very positive for those who attended. Ms. Maile was insightful and very meticulous. She points out every little detail that you probably would not have thought about while getting ready for an interview. She discussed everything from clothing, make up, hair, nails, and jewelry, to posture and interviewing etiquette.

Here are just the quick key features of the presentation on how to get the power look.

Selecting a Suit

Lisa’s four key factors to keep in mind when picking out a suit for a job interview are color, pattern, texture, and shape.  A wardrobe for an interview or work does not have to be expensive to fit these four factors, but if it does fit these four factors, then it will look expensive. It is very possible to find a suit for $69.99 that will fit these four factors. It is not necessary to go out and buy a designer suit, because like Lisa blatantly stated, you will walk into your interview saying, ‘Hi, my name is ___________ and this suit is Armani.’

  • When picking out a suit, you want to stick to dark colors such as black, navy blue, or dark gray, and contrast it with a crisp white button up blouse underneath. Black is the most powerful suit color you could wear.
  • Conservative is always acceptable in the business world. For women, it is more effective to wear a skirt suit than a pant suit.
  • When considering pattern, pin stripe is the safest suit option, but you also want to consider the pattern of your blouse and the way your suit is cut.
  • Be sure that the blouse does not have a plunging neck line.
  • Always remember:  when picking out clothes for an interview, you want everything to accent your face; avoid blouses that draw the interviewer’s attention to your shirt.
  • The texture of your suit is very important because you do not want it to be flimsy. You want your suit to be able to hold its shape on a hanger and for it to appear as though it is standing “at attention” when you wear it.
  • Her last key factor for picking out the perfect outfit was shape. You want your suit to make you look tall and lean.
  • Avoid tight form fitting suits because they will have the opposite effect.  For example, tight form-fitting pants will draw attention to your hip area, which you do not want. You want the interviewer to always have their eyes on your face and nowhere else, because it lets you know that they respect you and are paying attention to what you are saying.

Hair, Make-up, Nails, and Accessories

When considering make-up, hair, nails and jewelry, you want them all to accent your face. Make-up should be natural with a bold lip color. “The” acceptable bold lip color is red. This draws the interviewer eyes to your face. Jewelry should be a one strand pearl necklace, big accented pearl earrings (bigger than a dime but smaller than a quarter,) and a maximum of one ring on each hand.  The necklace and earrings should serve as frame for your face. If you wear a ring, it should be worn on your ring fingers. Nails should be a well manicured, natural color.

Poise and Confidence in the Interview

When you walk into your interview room, be sure to wait for your interviewer to welcome you to sit before grabbing a seat. Be sure to sit up straight and smile. Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm about the position.

With these key factors in mind for your interview, you will be sure to leave a memorable, positive, capable image of yourself in the interviewer’s mind.

To better understand Lisa’s tips, please click the video link. For additional guidance on what to wear for an interview, how to answer interview questions, and/or how to put together a resume, please contact the Embry-Riddle Career Services Office.

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