Made over: From college to career path

In today's rotten economy, college kids in their sweatshirts and yoga pants need all the help they can get to nail a job or an internship. For suggestions on going from slob to sleek, I talked to stylists and job experts, then collected firsthand tips by tracking three young people through their transformations. Here's how you can achieve a near-miraculous makeover.

The look: Initial job interview

Caitlyn Schmid, 21


"I wear a T-shirt and jeans most of the time." No makeup, and she hadn't had her hair cut in six or seven months.


Have you ever looked this professional? "No!"

•You can't go wrong with traditional business attire: a suit (for men and women).

•Invest the time to try on many, many options at the store. (She tried on nine.)

•Cover up; no cleavage or bare arms

•Department store personal shoppers can help, and they're usually free; call for an appointment.

•Makeup (with a light touch) shows you care about your appearance.

•Jewelry is good — but not flashy or jangly.

•Don't show your toes: No sandals; choose closed-toe basic pumps.

•Invest in alterations, especially for pants and sleeve length.

•Clean, manicured hands with no or classic (not bright) polish.

•Add a business case or no-logo tote to complete the look, hold your resume.

Her new outfit: Jacket, $128 reduced to $24.99; pants, $79.90; top, $39.90, all the Limited,; necklace and earrings, $25.65, Charter Club, Macy's, Her own shoes. Total: $170.44

The look: Second interview

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