"Dress for success" is an old mantra, and a career advisor at UBC Okanagan says it's time students start adopting the phrase.

Robin Whittall says many students these days don't know the value of a good knee-length pencil skirt or snappy suit jacket, and it's hurting them when they leave school and enter the workforce.

"I do get students in my office asking what would be appropriate," she told Radio West host Rebecca Zandbergen.

"Sometimes they have a history of getting their past jobs through friends or family, so they haven't really been into that interview situation where it's a stranger and they have to think, 'How do I present myself?'"

Whittall says UBC-O will sometimes have events where the dress code is advertised as business casual or even more formal.

She says she sees too-short skirts and too-low necklines from some female students, and male students simply dress far too casual — for instance, hoodies, jeans and anything with a graphic is a big time no-no, she says.

To help students and alumni in Kelowna, Whittall is hosting a fashion workshop on March 23 at Value Village at 6 p.m.

Students and alumni with student cards will get 30 per cent off to help even those on a tight budget get the clothes they need to nail their next interview.

With files from Radio West

Sergio Vargas

Radio West's Sergio Vargas holds up two outfits. The one on the right is appropriate for an interview. The one on the left, well, is less so. (Audrey McKinnon/CBC)

To hear the full story, click on the audio labelled: A hoodie at a job interview? UBC-O career adviser says some students might try it