What to Wear When Dressing for a Job Orientation

What to Wear When Dressing for a Job Orientation

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Employees sometimes make the embarrassing mistake of dressing too comfortably for a job orientation. You’ve been hired, but don’t rest on your laurels; you still need to solidify the great first impression you made during the interviewing stage.

When going to a job orientation, the idea is to dress like an interviewee. Research the company’s dress code, and wear an outfit one level more formal than the actual clothes you’ll wear on the job. If your orientation invite specifies a dress code, follow that as closely as possible. 

It goes without saying that the right outfit for a job orientation depends on the company’s culture and the nature of the job itself. In this article, I’ll elaborate on the general rules of dressing for job orientation and give you outfit ideas for both men and women.

How To Dress for a New Job Orientation

No matter what company you’re working for or what industry you’re in, it’s essential to make a great impression at your job orientation. That’s the stage where you’ll meet your colleagues for the first time, and as you probably already know, first impressions can last a lifetime.

Want to know more about dressing for a job orientation? Here are some tips to remember:

Get Has Much Information as Possible on The Company Dess Code

Most of the time, the job orientation invite will mention the company dress codes which falls under four categories:

  • Business formal. Business formal attire is the dressiest corporate attire. It’s what you wear to award ceremonies, C-level presentations, client meetings, and the like.
  • Business professional. Business professional attire falls between business formal and business casual in terms of formality. You’ll likely dress like this if you’re working in industries like law and finance. 
  • Business casual. Business casual attire is the second-most relaxed type of business attire. You’re free to wear comfortable outfits appropriate for a business environment, but not to the point that you’ll look like someone on a road trip.
  • Casual. “Casual” means you can wear a basic jeans-and-shirt getup. Even then, take care not to show up in anything too flashy (e.g., graphic T-shirts) or suggestive (e.g., low-cut tops).

If there is no information available out there, you can always ask HR for more information if the invite doesn’t define a dress code. You can say something along those lines:

Hi Mr./Ms. [name of the person who sent you the invite].

Thank you for inviting me to the job orientation for [occupation title] on [date and time]. Quick question: Is there a specific dress code for that orientation?

Thank you in advance for any response on this matter.

Once You Know the Company Dress Code, Dress a Level More Formal

Generally, it’s a good idea to dress a level above the company dress code when you’re at the interview and orientation stage. It shows your employer that you take your job seriously and are willing to put your best foot forward in any situation. 

Example #1: A Conservative Job Orientation Attire for Men

In a casual setting, men could wear polo shirts, slacks, and dress shoes for job orientation.

If the company has a more formal dress code, they can also wear a blazer that complements their clothes, a solid-colored tie, and black, dark blue, or gray socks. A dress watch can finish off an outfit beautifully.

Next, let’s cover job orientation outfit ideas for the ladies.

Example #2: A Conservative Job Orientation Attire for Women

When it comes to job orientation outfits, it’s best to err on the conservative side. Women shouldn’t wear anything that shows off their cleavage or rides too high up their legs.

Women should wear a blouse, skirt suits, and closed-toe shoes. They can also wear a blazer for more formal work environments. Slacks are also acceptable, as well as jewelry that accents the clothes without calling too much attention.

3 Tips to Perfect Your Job Orientation Attire

Now that you know the basics, I will tell you mistakes that I often see and tips to take your attire to the next level.

1. Take Care of Your Hygiene and Grooming

You may have the best job orientation outfit in the world, but if you don’t pay the slightest bit of attention to grooming and hygiene, that’ll leave a wrong impression.  

Here are general grooming tips for a job orientation:

  • Keep your hair neat and styled. Comb your hair away from your face. If you’re a man, flatten those wild strands with hair gel. If you’re a woman, wear your hair in a ponytail or bun or use the most flattering hairstyle for your face shape. 
  • Clean your face. Make your face shine (in a positive way!) with products that suit your skin type. If you have blemishes, zits, and other imperfections on your face, you can conceal them with makeup. If you’re a man with facial hair, shave it off for the time being.
  • Keep body odor at bay. If you’re prone to excessive sweating, a.k.a. hyperhidrosis, take a long bath before orientation time. Avoid spicy foods and anything else that triggers hyperhidrosis. Wear clothes with natural fibers like cotton, which absorbs moisture away from your skin. 

2. Wear Solid Neutral Colors

Save the loud, colorful prints for when you’ve settled into your job. Right now, you want to invest in solid neutral outfits that showcase your professionalism. 

According to Business Insider, the best colors to wear to work are:

  • Green. Green conveys calm and freshness. Wear green if you like the color and want to stand out in a good way. 
  • Black. Black is a classic color and pairs well with virtually every other hue. 
  • Blue. If you think black is too dull, wear blue instead. Like black, blue doesn’t go out of style. Also, dark shades like navy go well with most outfits. 
  • Brown. Wear this color if you want to convey stability and credibility. 

You’ll notice I didn’t include white in the above list. Like black, white pairs well with most hues and is a good color for an undershirt or blouse. However, an all-white outfit might be visually overwhelming, so use it in moderation or as an accent color. 

3. Avoid Flashy Accessories

You want colleagues and fellow orientees to remember you, not the distracting bling you wore on orientation day. 

Accessories to avoid for your job orientation include:

  • Rings with large stones or elaborate designs
  • Long or hooped earrings 
  • Stud earrings (for men)
  • Facial piercings (unless the company has a highly casual culture)

I’m not suggesting you don’t wear accessories at all. The right kind of jewelry can add pizzazz to your outfit rather than draw too much attention to itself. 

Accessories that are okay to wear to a job orientation are:

  • Rings with small stones or simple cuts
  • Stud earrings (for women)
  • Thin necklaces
  • Dress watches 

The Bottom Line

A job orientation is an opportunity to learn more about a company. It’s also your chance to show that who you were as a successful interviewee matches who you’ll be as an employee. Hopefully, these tips will take the edge off an often stressful situation and help you feel and look your best.

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About The Author

Nathan Brunner
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Nathan Brunner is a labor market expert. He is a mathematician who graduated from EPFL.

He is the owner of Salarship, a job board where less-skilled candidates can find accessible employment opportunities.