Resume, check. Cover letter, check. Outfit?

The interviewing process for young adults is all about proving to employers that you can do a good job at their company. Although nerve-wracking, interviews and first impressions are key to whether someone gets a job and appearances often play a part.

"An old saying that I've always heard is 'dress for success and someday you might be successful,'" said Robert James Duncan, freshman in management. "I'm not somebody who likes to get caught up on appearances, but I feel like it's something that is definitely important when interviewing for jobs."

Sandra Towns, a personal stylist at J.Crew in West Town Mall, said it is important make the right impression when interviewing for jobs where professional dress is required.

"A first impression is huge and you don't want to shut the door on yourself because of what you have on," Towns said. "You want the interviewer to remember you and not your outfit."

Russ Coughenour, director of Career Services, said the primary focus of an interview is to create a connection between a company and a future employee, so there is no room for distractions.

"You're trying me on for size and I'm trying you on for size," he said. "The focus of the interview is for you and I to talk in a business fashion about whether there is room for us to work together in the future."

The Career Services interviewing guide advises students to dress up for the interview even if the job's dress code is casual. Men should wear a dark suit with conservative ties and groomed facial hair, while women should have knee-length skirts paired with blazers and minimal jewelry. Coughenour said that acceptable clothing for professional dress and going out clothes is often not that clear.

"We see young women in very high spiked heels a lot, which would not really be what we would suggest you wear to a business-type environment," he said. "Dressing to go to an interview is different than dressing up to go out on a date or out to dinner. Sometimes people don't see the difference between the two."

Brandon Cartagena, undecided freshman, said that in order to play the part you have to look it.

"You have to look the way you want people to perceive you," Cartagena said. "If you want people to take you seriously you have to keep up with your appearance and you have to look presentable."

Coughenour said that in interviews it's not so much what you do right, it's what you don't do wrong.

"When a person first meets another person for a job interview, a lot of the books will tell you that the interviewer immediately says yes or no based on the way you present yourself," Coughenour said. "You want the interviewer to say yes, this person fits what I was expecting. The candidate matches what they expected, is better than what they expected or does not live up to the expectations."

Some industries have more conservative dress codes than others, like accounting job firms when compared to the fashion positions. Towns said it is best to prepare an outfit for the interview ahead of time.

"You need to do your homework beforehand and try to get an idea of the company before you choose your outfit," she said. "Stay away from anything that is going to call attention to you and that's what they remember as opposed to what you have to offer the company."

Once an employer starts building more of a foundation in their new workplace, Coughenour said, it lets them become more comfortable in their dress and not lose their integrity.

"You start to come down from this impression sort of status to the real person kind of status as you gain credibility and trust and time on the job and a reputation is built and so forth," Coughenour said.

Cartagena said that in the end, interviewers will judge potential employees.

"I'm not saying that it is right to judge someone or it's wrong to judge someone based on how they look, but it's definitely what people do, especially in a workplace setting," he said. "People will perceive you based on how you look, so look as (good) as you can."

"We see young women in very high spiked heels a lot, which would not really be what we would suggest you wear to a business-type environment," he said. "Dressing to go to an interview is different than dressing up to go out on a date or out to dinner. Sometimes people don't see the difference between the two."

Brandon Cartagena, undecided freshman, said that in order to play the part you have to look it.

"You have to look the way you want people to perceive you," Cartagena said. "If you want people to take you seriously you have to keep up with your appearance and you have to look presentable."

Coughenour said that in interviews it's not so much what you do right, it's what you don't do wrong.

"When a person first meets another person for a job interview, a lot of the books will tell you that the interviewer immediately says yes or no based on the way you present yourself," Coughenour said. "You want the interviewer to say yes, this person fits what I was expecting. The candidate matches what they expected, is better than what they expected or does not live up to the expectations."

Some industries have more conservative dress codes than others, like accounting job firms when compared to the fashion positions. Towns said it is best to prepare an outfit for the interview ahead of time.

"You need to do your homework beforehand and try to get an idea of the company before you choose your outfit," she said. "Stay away from anything that is going to call attention to you and that's what they remember as opposed to what you have to offer the company."

Once an employer starts building more of a foundation in their new workplace, Coughenour said, it lets them become more comfortable in their dress and not lose their integrity.

"You start to come down from this impression sort of status to the real person kind of status as you gain credibility and trust and time on the job and a reputation is built and so forth," Coughenour said.

Cartagena said that in the end, interviewers will judge potential employees.

"I'm not saying that it is right to judge someone or it's wrong to judge someone based on how they look, but it's definitely what people do, especially in a workplace setting," he said. "People will perceive you based on how you look, so look as (good) as you can."