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Should I Wear Dress Clothes to Turn in a Job Application?

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When applying for a job, everything you do can impact whether or not you are offered the position. It's impossible to know which of your actions will be a deciding factor so don't take any chances and make sure you always present your best. Use the time when you turn in your job application to look good and leave a positive impression. Dressing nicely is part of that process when submitting your job application.

Job Application Process

The job application process varies from company to company. Some organizations allow you to pick up an application and return it later; others want you to fill it out right there. Applications are screening tools that usually require you to fill out identifying information plus your employment and educational background. Since you won't be familiar with the company's screening process when go to fill out an application, always dress professionally.

What to Wear

When dropping off an application, dress in the manner you would if currently working for the company. One exception to this rule is if you are applying for a job that requires that you be dressed down in jeans or similar, or to wear a uniform. In these circumstances it's best to go with pants or a skirt in a neutral color with a simple top. Wear a pair of classic, matching closed-toe shoes as well. For a position where you'll be more likely to dress up on a daily basis, wear an outfit appropriate for a day at work. For women, this entails a suit or dress pants or skirt and some kind of formal top, and for men, pants and a button-up shirt or suit. The higher up the job, the more likely you should wear a tie.

Your Hair and Accessories

Keep your hairstyle and accessories downplayed when you drop off an application. Unless you are working in an artsy field where your creative expression through jewelry is appreciated, stick to a few simple pieces. Also make sure you have a fresh haircut, worn in a clean, simple style when dropping off an application. You never know how you'll come across to the people you encounter at the company so keep it simple and save an eccentric style for later.

What to Say

When dropping off the job application, what you say is as important as how you look. You never know what influence the person who takes the application has over the hiring process. Be friendly and cordial, making sure to smile and say something personable to the employee. Comment about how her day is going or ask about something she has sitting on her desk. Also, inquire about how you can follow up on your application. Looking good when you drop off the application is important and so is sounding that way.


Based in the Midwest, Gina Scott has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked in real estate since 2004 and has expertise in pop culture and health-related topics. She has also self-published a book on how to overcome chronic health conditions. Scott holds a Master of Arts in higher-education administration from Ball State University.

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