The Unknown Adjunct

February 28, 2009

Dress-down for Success?

Filed under: dress,Job Hunt,Uncategorized — unknownadjunct @ 3:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

I saw this article in the Chron about dressing for interviews. Most of his points are very solid and useful, particularly for those who have always stayed within the bounds of academia. One of the interesting points he makes in the piece is that he doesn’t feel that men should wear suits. Instead, one should wear the typical “academic-looking” tweed blazer and slacks.

I was a little puzzled by this. Of course, he was talking about interviewing at a CC, so the rules may be different. Here at EMU (an R1), I have yet to see a candidate come in anything but a suit, and some of the faculty even teach in suits — some teach in jeans too — their choice.

My point is that, as I understand the process, you only get to interview if the selection committee is satisfied that you have the necessary academic chops. The interview helps them to judge if you are someone they want to work with, and to ferret out those who look stellar on paper, but can’t talk their way out of a paper bag. Your interviews and job talk should be good enough to keep you out of the “bubble” where what you wear may make a difference, but why take the chance of appearing less than professional by not wearing a suit?

And if you wear a suit, wear a brown suit? Puh-leaze. That’s the used-car salesman look.

Hat tip to fashionista who has an interesting comment thread on this

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