First impressions matter. How you present yourself is equally as important as how you act and how you speak.
Whether you are dressing each morning for your teaching internship or for a special event like a conference or career fair, you should take pride in your appearance. People will pay attention to the way you are presenting yourself both visually (how you look/dress) and verbally (how you speak/perform).
Although the normal attire for teachers might be more casual these days (follow the lead of your fellow professional teachers at your school), when you’re preparing for a professional conference or an interview, you should probably step up your game.
Conferences tend to be more business casual in nature (think business suit without the jacket). However, interviews and career fairs should be taken far more seriously. To prepare for spring and summer career fairs and interviews, make sure to purchase a professional-looking suit if you don’t have one. The rule of thumb is to dress as your leadership dresses (would your principal wear anything but a suit to an interview…probably not!). You’ll look and feel confident if you “look the part”. If you’re worried about not being able to express yourself through boring business-y attire think of it this way: impress employers with your incredible teaching ability, not your clothing.
You don’t need to spend a tremendous amount of money on this clothing, either. Consignment shops are wonderful places to purchase professional attire – especially if you’ll only wear it a few times.
Not sure what the difference is between business casual and business professional? Use this handy-dandy visual guide as a resource. Ladies, remember to cover your arms, chest, and legs (even if it’s with nylons or tights) during career fairs and interviews.
If you’re a Pinner, the MSU College of ComArtSci has a great board about professional dress: https://www.pinterest.com/cascareers181/professional-dress/. Be sure to check it out when you have a chance.