Dressing professionally for an interview is really important. How you dress can make, or break, your chances of getting a job offer. What do you do when you can't afford interview attire? There are organizations that can help disadvantaged job seekers dress appropriately for an interview and prepare to interview effectively.
Career Gear, is one of the organization that provides suits disadvantaged job seekers. Participants can choose from a variety of suits, most of which have been donated by Career Gear corporate sponsors, including Brooks Brothers and the Men's Wearhouse. Dress for Success is a similar program for women.
How can disadvantaged job seekers take advantage of programs like Career Gear?
The first step disadvantaged job seekers can take is to truly invest in themselves. Career Gear invests in men who have begun to turn their lives around and are taking a proactive role in seeking employment. Career Gear's philosophy is simple but powerful: successful employment is a catalyst towards men emerging as better fathers and leaders within their communities.
Who is eligible to participate?
To qualify for assistance, each participant must have completed a job-training program, have an interview scheduled and have been referred to Career Gear by one of its partner programs located throughout New York City and its surrounding boroughs. These organizations include homeless shelters, welfare-to-work job training centers and job training programs for ex-offenders, disabled individuals and recovering substance abusers. The men Career Gear serve come from all walks-of-life, but are disconnected for one reason or another. This includes all ages and ethnic backgrounds, recipients of public assistance, disabled individuals, recovering addicts, Iraqi war veterans, former foster care children, recent immigrants and the formerly incarcerated.
How do they go about participating?
When a participant arrives for his scheduled appointment, trained volunteers review his resume, identify potential barriers to the upcoming interview, review the work environment/culture in which the interview will take place and offer specific and concrete tools to overcome potential obstacles in securing gainful employment. The Career Gear team will then work one-on-one with the men to help select an appropriate outfit for the upcoming job interview. Professional clothing provided includes a suit, dress shirt, tie, belt, shoes, and overcoat (when available).
Professional Development Series
Once a participant is employed, he is recruited to become a member of the Professional Development Series (PDS). Launched in 2005, the PDS is a retention program that offers a unique series of workshops, aimed at helping men retain their job and advance in the workplace. Workshops focus on skills that impact an individuals' ability to remain employed, such as budgeting and financial management, emotional coping skills, family and child support, and communication skills. The program also offers added value by utilizing Career Gear's greatest resource: clothing. During each session, participants receive ongoing donations of clothing so they have an entire working wardrobe upon completion of the program. This enables them to focus on saving their money and spending it on other necessities rather than on clothing.
Organizations That Can Help with Interview Clothes