The past few weeks I have been writing for the young professional or soon to graduate college seniors audience. Today’s topic is one I find very under-rated and not much guidance given once a new professional enters a company. Also, many companies aren’t as formal with business attire as 15 years ago. Regardless, how you look and dress is a big part of your brand. It can also be a credibility killer. Whether it is right or wrong, your appearance and how you present yourself can deface any expertise or ideas that you have. We have heard the cliché, you should dress for the job you want not the one you currently have. As you advance in your career you can step up the quality and brands of your attire, but below are some business attire basics that will make sure the new (male) professionals entering the work-force don’t stick out like a rookie based on the way they dress!
Leaving the tag on your jacket
The biggest fashion mistake I see every June is when new professionals, who just bought their first round of suits, fail to take off the tag. This also leads to the second mistake of not having their suit tailored. Normally a good tailor will take the tag off the jacket for you. If you are going to take the tag at the sleeve cuff of your jacket off yourself, be careful not to rip a hole. Use scissors and don’t pull on the stitching.
Ditch the Lanyard (long key chain, out of your pocket)
Maybe hanging your keychain out of your pocket was fashionable around your dormitory but it screams amateur in the professional world. If you want to keep your keys on a lanyard, that is fine – just keep the entire piece in your pocket.
Don’t button your bottom button on your jacket
It’s not a style preference. It’s a blatant cry that you are not accustomed to dressing for the business world. Just keep the bottom button undone – On a three button jacket, the middle button is always buttoned, the top button is optional – but once again, the bottom button is left unfastened.
- Your belt color should match your shoe color (always wear a belt!)
- Your tie should fall to your belt buckle
- Wear dress socks! Don’t wear athletic socks with your suit!
- Don’t wear striped ties with striped shirts – you’ll look like an optical illusion
- Wear a white undershirt under your dress shirt
Eddy Ricci, Jr., has been labeled as “the emerging expert in developing Gen Y sales professionals” by the chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler and is also noted as “understanding what motivates Gen Y sales teams. He is on my radar and should be on yours” by international speaker and NY Times bestselling author, Erik Qualman. Eddy is the author of The Growth Game: A Millennial’s Guide to Professional Development and serves as the director of a unique training and development collaborative platform that services financial planning firms in the northeast where he has arguably worked with more Gen Y financial professionals than anyone in the country over the past four years. He is the founder of The Growth Game, LLC. ,a professional development company with a focus on building sales and leadership programs. www.thegrowthgame.com ; @thegrowthgame (recently created twitter).
“After You Frame Your Diploma, You Must Read Ricci’s The Growth Game!”- Ben Newman, international speaker, Professional Sports and Executive speaker, and best selling author