7 Ways to Keep Cool on Summer Job Interviews

Last Updated Jul 25, 2011 6:48 AM EDT

Hot enough for you? In the New York area where I live, like much of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, we labored last week under a wicked heat wave that's only just begun to ease up.

Hot times are tough on everybody -- and when you're sweating a job search while trying to radiate a sense of cool to prospective employers, preparation is key. That's why one of my perennial favorite packages I assembled for TheLadders is this piece titled "Keeping Cool on the Job Hunt," which includes handy tips on dressing for summer interviews as well as pacing yourself to put your best foot forward.

In the article "What to Wear to Summer Job Interviews," Nina Myers includes seven personal-grooming tips to freshen up your personal brand:

1. Take off one article of clothing in transit. (Men, lose the jacket; women, swap those heels for flats.) It will minimize perspiration and keep you comfortable and confident.

2. Leave time to cool off. Give yourself at least 15 minutes' cool-down time before every important event. A lobby bathroom or a nearby restaurant is a great place to chill, dab some cold water on your face, and check your teeth and nails.

3. Streamline your undergarments. Men: Skip the undershirt. Women: Buy breathable underwear with a nylon/spandex blend that helps wick away moisture.

4. Wear lightweight, unlined fabrics. Myers recommends cloth that keeps you cool while maintaining its shape and appearance. Men should invest in an unlined wool jacket; women, look for separates with a touch of Lycra.

5. Go easy on the scents. Perfumes and colognes can get stultifying in summer heat. Don't overdo either. "You shouldn't be able to smell product of any kind -- from hair gel to after-shave -- from more than an arm's length away," Myers writes.

6. Control your hair. Keeping your locks in place is doubly difficult in the summer months. To feel and look cool, men should shave and get a haircut within days of an interview. Women, keep your hair off your face.

7. Check your breath. If the pleasant scents of perfume and cologne are too much in the summer months, those less-pleasant bacteria in your mouth can really have a field day. Keep a toothbrush handy if possible, and buy a pack of dissolving breath strips. (Note: Don't chew gum!)

For some sample looks, check out TheLadders summer job interview photo gallery.

  • Matthew Rothenberg

    Matthew Rothenberg is a career-advice veteran and co-author of You're Better Than Your Job Search, a real-world guide to advancing your career in the 21st century.