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Carrington College Blog

Dress Like You Mean It

August 14, 2013

dress for the job you want‘Dress to impress’ was a phrase often thrown around a few years ago, and it still holds true today. First impressions are made within seconds of meeting someone new, so if you ‘dress like you mean it’ you’ll have a better chance of success in any situation, not just professional.

We all enjoy Carrington College California Spirit Days where you get to wear a ‘crazy hat’ or your favorite team’s jersey, maybe even an Hawaiian shirt over your scrubs, but those days aside we want you to dress like you mean it.

Yes, at school you’ll usually be in your scrubs, but what do your clothes and your appearance say about you at other times? Are you making the best possible impression on those around you? Clothes don’t necessarily make the man/woman, but they do say a lot about him/her.

You never know when you might meet that someone who could have a positive effect on your life. Do you want to be in baggy old sweatpants, complete with a hole you’ve been meaning to stitch when it happens? I’m not saying you have to go out and spend a lot of money on brand new outfits, that’s just not realistic. But always try to be aware of how you’re presenting yourself to the world around you in different situations.


Work with your Career Services Department on all aspects of the interview process, including dress code for jobs in health care. They will coach you on proper attire, but the following are never acceptable in interviews:

  • Jeans or denim pants
  • Shorts or spandex
  • Leggings or sweatpants
  • Running shoes, hiking boots or flip-flops
  • T-shirts, muscle shirts or flannel work shirts (unless interviewing as a lumberjack!)
  • Hats/Caps

Dressing appropriately for an interview may not guarantee you a job, but it can help your chances of not being eliminated from consideration before you have a chance to impress with your skills and knowledge.


Every workplace has specific expectations, and again for many of you, your ‘uniform’ may be scrubs. But if you do have clothing options, always check with HR on their dress code policy.

  • If you’re thinking about what to wear to work, if you have to ask yourself “Can I get away with this?”, the answer should always be “NO!”
  • Looking good makes you feel good, and feeling good just makes work, and life, better.
  • Smart appearance is more than just clothes – Clean hair, tidy fingernails, and a stubble free chin are necessities.


When you’re out and about on the weekends, or at night after class, don’t slum it. Those comfy sweatpants are great if you’re locked in your house. If the only faces you expect to see are on the TV screen from the couch, go for it, but don’t wear them out. Here’s why:

  • You never know who you’ll run into at the grocery store. Your boss, senior colleagues, even interviewers shop too! Brad Pitt at the grocery store? Hey, stranger things have happened.
  • No-one looks good in sweatpants and furry boots!
  • Because you deserve to look your best at all times.
  • If you’re single, you’ll never know when you might bump into Mr. or Mrs. Right!

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