Since when have sweatpants, slippers and pajama bottoms been considered proper attire for job hunting?

Look, I know I'm getting old and perhaps a bit long in the tooth, but some of today's ways just don't seem to make sense for any generation.

The Chamber's annual South Coast Jobs Fair was held yesterday at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech. While most attendees dressed for success, an alarming number showed up in the same clothes that they probably woke up in. Sweatpants, pajama bottoms, and slippers were the outfit of choice for too many job seekers, making me wonder if they were really seeking employment at all, or just meeting a requirement to continue collecting their benefits.

Once upon a time, people took pride in their appearance. Not so much anymore. It's common today to see folks show up to the theater, supermarket, funeral home, wedding chapel, and yes, job fair looking like bums. What’s up with that?

For the record, I do not wear ties. Never. I think I own three ties and all of them have sports logos or cartoon characters on them. A nice pair of pants, a button-down shirt and perhaps a jacket for men and a skirt, dress or dress pants for women show a potential employer that you are serious about wanting to work for them.

You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make it count.

Fashion statements are wonderful. Knock yourself out. But when you are seeking a job that could very well change your future, why would you not want to put your best foot forward? I believe that how you present yourself matters, and is indicative perhaps of how you view yourself.

As a potential employer, I would toss any resume in the trash that was handed to me by someone who did not have enough common sense to try and impress me.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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