It takes just 30 seconds for someone to form an opinion about you. The way you dress for a job interview gives potential employers their first impression of how you present yourself professionally. It can boost your confidence, nurture self-respect and communicate to others the value you place on the opportunity they have given you.
Imagine the idea of a clean shirt, a sharp suit or a smart pair of shoes – something most of us in the business community grab from the wardrobe every morning without much thought – simply not being there. How much harder would it be to give that positive first impression? To get potential employers to give you a chance?
The Aberdeen Law Project (ALP) is the first purely student-led law clinic in Scotland. Our clinic primarily exists in order to provide legal representation and community outreach programs to members of the public who would otherwise not have access to such assistance. Alongside ALP’s clinical side, there are around 15 school and community outreach teams which seek to empower, engage and educate the community on all kinds of different topics.
Our homelessness outreach team is an initiative which has recently launched the ‘OutFit Like’ scheme and was founded on the principle of destigmatising and supporting the homeless population.
The team began brainstorming ways in which ALP’s work would complement the existing service provision within the community and quickly realised that difficulty in accessing formalwear can be a huge barrier to homeless people finding and securing potentially life-changing employment.
OutFit Like was created in the hopes of ensuring that no potential employee is disadvantaged by what they wear and aims to provide high quality formalwear free of charge to those with job interviews.
While other such schemes exist globally and large retailers occasionally provide similar services, no single project providing formalwear to those with interviews has an exclusive foothold in Aberdeen and the North-east of Scotland.
We have partnered with Cyrenians to use their premises in the city centre to store our donated clothes. International law firm, CMS, has also agreed to fund the operational costs of the scheme with other organisations, including Balfour and Manson and Shepherd and Wedderburn, agreeing to donate clothing to the scheme.
And here’s the good news – you can help. It doesn’t take much. Just a root through your wardrobe for smart, interview-appropriate clothing in good condition that you no longer want.
Men’s and women’s suits, shirts, dresses, coats, shoes, accessories – we’ll take it all. Even better, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a pick-up/ drop-off whenever suits you best, no pun intended.
The more clothing donations we receive, the more service users we will be able to admit.
Please think about helping, either as an individual or even as a wider appeal across your company. It might seem like such a small thing, but to someone fighting to put their life back together, it could mean the world.