Dress to Impress - Dress for Success

a lesson from a student in the field from a few years ago

Hello everybody,

My name is Alyce. I am a student attending the Advanced Diploma Program. I remember that since the first day I joined, Susan and Tia have always been telling students to dress in business attire.

Hotel business is one of the most conservative businesses. We are even more conservative than banks these days. I do believe them wholeheartedly, but I think that some of you do not as I now see many students not going to school or practicum in business attire. Trust me, about the business attire thing; the school is not making it up. Let me tell you a little story about something that I have encountered.

I am now doing practicum in the Human Resources Department at one of the top hotels in downtown. For the past few weeks, I have been fortunate enough to have an opportunity to sit-in during their open application hours. Even though it is called 'open application hours', what it actually is is the process of screening interview.

During the application hours, applicants would walk in one by one to submit their application forms and resumes. My supervisor, the Recruiting Manager, would ask them a few questions before telling them that he would contact them if there is anything coming up.

While he is interviewing, the only two things he is looking for in an applicant are professionalism and relevant past experiences. The biggest part of professionalism is the look - basically how they dress. We often have applicants with perfect resumes and great attitudes. Unfortunately, after they leave, we have to put their resume in the “unwanted” pile right away just because they did not come in business attire. At a luxury hotel (or any type of hotel for that matters), they do expect people to be professional and conservative.

Business attire is a must - a dress shirt, a jacket and pants/skirt, closed-toe polished leather shoes, and stockings for ladies. Anything fashionable including bright nail colours, tattoos, piercings (other than ears for the ladies), big accessories, and toes (closed -toe shoes only please!) should not be seen during the interview.

The school cannot emphasize enough about how important it is to look professional because it is really important. The resume almost does not matter, if you cannot impress the interviewer by how professional you look.

P.S. I know it is summer now, and a jacket may seem uncomfortable to wear to an interview, but when you are a hotel manager, it is something that you would have to deal with all year round!


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