Job hunting is about doing everything possible to get noticed by employers. The way you present yourself has a direct effect on how you are perceived by others.
But, dressing the part for a job goes way beyond the clothes you wear. It’s in the way you talk, your mannerisms, written materials (resume, cover letters, e-mails, websites/online profile(s), business cards) — anything that represents you and your brand.
Does this mean you need to wear a suit all the time? No. However, if dressing up helps you feel more professional, then do it. And, if you are the type of person that likes wearing sweats to the grocery store, you can still do that. Just make sure your sweats fit (not too baggy or too tight), they are clean, and without any frayed or ripped seams so no matter who you run into, you will at least look ready to communicate your position. That is why it’s important to make sure every aspect of your job search has a clean, polished, put-together “look” where a professional tone can come across in all your interactions.
So, the next time you hear the phrase “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” remember it also applies to the job search too because you never know where your next lead will come from.