Presenting a polished image sets job candidates up for success in an interview, but the dilemma many students face is in determining how to build a professional wardrobe with limited funds.
The new Housatonic Community College (HCC) Career Closet will provide students with answers to the question of what to wear for that all-important moment they have been preparing for throughout their college career: the job interview. With a job fair scheduled for April 4 in the Beacon Hall Event Center, the goal of the Career Closet is to offer professional attire for students looking to make a great first impression.
Career Closet “shopping days” will be take place from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in L 145 in Lafayette Hall every Friday in March. Staff will be on hand to help students make the most appropriate selections and referrals will be made to Dress for Success of Mid Fairfield County, located at 240 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, as well.
In December, Anisha Thomas, Director of Career Services & Internships, put out the call for workforce staples like suits, slacks, skirts, ties, and dress shirts; faculty and staff enthusiastically delivered. Donations are still needed for both men and woman in all sizes and will be accepted weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. until March 29. The Career Closet is particularly in need of dress pants and khakis, as well as blazers, dresses, and blouses. Thomas said that they are requesting that donations be cleaned and put on hangers.
HCC’s Office of Career Services & Internships helps students by counseling them on employer expectations during a job interview and Thomas noted that clothes are important for presenting a professional image to employers. Thomas said that her advice to a student on how to dress for an interview varies according to the type of job a student is seeking. Thomas noted that employers in certain fields might expect a business suit for men and women, while other sectors may not.
Professional attire can be very costly, so if a student can find clothing at the Career Closet, the savings can be substantial. Thomas said that the Career Closet can help students feel more confident when approaching a job search. She mentioned how students have already expressed excitement about the Career Closet and appreciate the cost savings and convenience it will offer.