Are you a female graduate looking for work?

Then let the dusty, crusty ‘experts’ at careers website Graduate Prospects enlighten you. Apparently, it isn’t your CV that’s letting you down. It’s your choice of bottom-half interview-attire.

According to what claims to be “UK’s official graduate careers advice website”, female candidates should wear skirts, not trousers, to interviews.

Yes, you read correctly.

Yes, the year is 2010.

And yes, this is the website that every careers adviser in every UK university refers their job-seeking clients to.

In an imaginatively entitled article “Dress to impress” (published April 2010), an unnamed author (Anna Wintour, is that you?) offers a string of bizarre style tips to female candidates when putting together your interview outfit. One is this:

“You should try to find out the fashion preferences of the firm or sector you are applying to, otherwise, stick to the conventional choice: a suit in subdued colours, and probably a knee-length skirt rather than pants.”

Reaction among the Graduate Fog community was as expected.

On our Facebook page, Fogger Melanie Burgos-Lovece said reading Graduate Prospects’ advice was “Like being transported to the 1950s.” Emma Cossey said she was less surprised and posted: “Pretty much sums up how behind the times they are.”

The wisdom continues. Should any impertinent young women like Melanie and Emma ignore this excellent advice and opt keep her legs covered at interview, Graduate Prospects warns:

“If your choice includes trousers, try them on with the shoes you will be wearing on the day.”

That’s right. You’re smart enough to get a degree and land yourself an interview – but apparently you still need help dressing yourself. Phew – thank heavens for Graduate Prospects. Ankle-flapping trouser emergency averted!

Other razor-sharp style tips you’d never have worked out for yourself include:

Not everything you try on will fit
When shopping for you outfit, Graduate Prospects points out that, “No ready to wear range covers all shapes and sizes, so it will probably be necessary to experiment with different styles.” That’s where the phrase, ‘shopping around’ comes from, see?

Some fabrics cling
“Different materials are also part of the equation – some may hang better on you than others.” OMG – where would you be without these pearls of wisdom?

Don’t get your baps out
“Low necks are not appreciated in the interview room. Something with a collar is safest.” It turns out, a flash of nipple is not cool in a corporate setting. Thank God someone told you.

Make sure you can walk
“Shoes should have low to middle-height heels, allowing unrestricted steps forward.” Because, like, the interviewer doesn’t actually come to your house for the interview, see?

I hope you’ve been writing these down.

*What do you think?
Should careers services be giving fashion tips – or should they concentrate on providing careers advice that’s actually helpful to you?

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