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Industry Talk and Attire?

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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby Ian » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:02 am

I will be giving an upcoming biotech/pharma talk. Should I wear a suit or a jacket/tie/slacks? I don’t really know if the talk is open to the whole company or just a smaller department.
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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby M. Peabody » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:14 am


I generally wear a jacket and tie for any talk I am going to give. I save the suit for weddings.
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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby Andrew » Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:55 am

Can we make this a sticky? Its been asked and answered so much here....

A suit is appropriate for industry; a jacket and tie is generally acceptable for academia. You can't possibly overdress for industry. You may easily end up being interviewed by VPs even for entry level PhD positions and they will often be wearing a suit.
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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby Huong Huynh » Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:29 pm

I highly recommend that you read the thread "Suit Situation" - originally posted on July 10, 2006. Kelly made great comments and suggestions for appropriate dress attire for interview/talk.


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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby Kelly Ann » Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:55 pm

I also recommend the "What to wear" thread (Wed, 15 Dec 2004) as it helped me quite a bit back in the day ...

Also, the following articles (that I have since found) are quite interesting.

Dressing Scientists for Success: Male Case Study
http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/0000/dressing_scientists_for_success_male_case_study/

Dressing Scientists for Success: Female Case Study
http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/0000/dressing_scientists_for_success_female_case_study/
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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby Ellen » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:45 am

I agree with Andrew. You need to wear a suit.
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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby Dick Woodward » Thu Aug 17, 2006 8:40 pm

25 years in industry says "wear a suit" or the female equivalent. i have worn jeans to interviews, but guess whay - I was doing the interview. Never in my career have I heard a candidate dismissed for being overdressed. Get the best interview suit you can - it pays dividends.

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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby Ian » Fri Aug 18, 2006 11:21 am

Dick W (and others),
What about giving just an industry talk, networking, but not really interviewing?
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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby Kelly » Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:06 pm

For an industry interview, I would wear a suit. Being a bit over dressed relative to the home team conveys respect.

I treat every single talk I give, including invited seminars, as an interview for something (job, next paper/grant review, fellowship nomination, recruiting a collaborator). It's always a job talk.
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Industry Talk and Attire?

Postby Dick Woodward » Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:26 pm

Kelly is absolutely right - almost anything can be considered as an interview for something. This is especially true if you're "just networking."

Consider also the study by Albert Mehrabian of UCLA that showed that the believeability (i.e., the impact) of your message is made up of three components; visual (what they see), vocal (the quality of your voice) and verbal (what you actually say). In training courses, I frequently ask people to guess at the importance of each of these factors - and scientists are very good at getting it wrong. The visual part makes up 55% of the believability, with vocal accounting for 38% and verbal picking up the remaining 7%.

What does this mean to your talk? Well, the biggest thing that they see is you - if you do not correspond to what they expect, much of your message is lost. In the networking situation, if you do not impress the person with whom you are attempting to network, he/she will be unlikely to be of much help to you. Think of it this way - would you recommend someone unimpressive to a friend?

(By the way, I recommend that everyone obtain a copy of "You've Got to be Believed to be Heard" by Bert Decker and study it - it's the single best guide for speaking that I've ever read.)
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