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Why you shouldn't wear white when looking for a job online

Rumor suggests there might be a few more jobs around. Which means some companies may be turning to virtual career fairs. These present difficult cultural and sartorial questions.

And no dreadful real-life coffee either. ON24

There is something faintly absurd about dressing for a job interview.

You wear your best clothes--sometimes borrowed from someone you met in a bar--in order to present an entirely false picture of yourself. No, you don't usually wear Armani. No, you don't usually wear shirts with collars. Especially clean ones.

However, now that we all project ourselves through machines, we have to rethink our image. Yes, our online image.

Yesterday, there was some evidence that there might be a few more jobs in America.

One way in which employers find people quickly and cheaply is by dint of virtual job fairs. Should you never have partaken of one of these, the principle is simple. It merely takes the essence of the video conference and the career fair and injects them with beer.

Oh, perhaps not quite. But if you're going to present yourself on camera, you have to change the way you think about putting your best face forward.

I am grateful to ON24, people with an oddly style-free Web site, who are the experts on virtual job fairs.

ON24's virtual communication platform can, allegedly, bring any number of people together for any legitimate purpose. It's like Second Life for the interesting.

So the company has, at this critical time in many people's lives, offered a few guidelines for presenting yourself on camera as you meet recruiters and even do job interviews.

Well, it's blue, which is good. But it might be too casual. Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

You know that white shirt--the one you got at H&M and have only worn once--don't put it on. White doesn't look good on camera. Neither do zig-zaggy patterns. Blue isn't so bad though.

In addition, make sure you've cleaned up the pizza boxes and the bong from last night. If they're visible on camera, well, they might create an impression of the real you, rather than the false, perfect one you're trying to project.

Here's another thing ON24 would like you to think about: OMG, those emoticons. Many, when chatting online become their online selves. Sometimes, though, that online self is 14 and likes to say LOL and send strange dung-heap emoticons.

Showing off that side of your multifaceted personality in this abbreviated way might not be your finest thought.

You might be wondering what sort of companies have already partaken of virtual job fairs. Well, IBM held a Destination Africa virtual job fair. As did SAE International, a global association for engineers in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial-vehicle industries.

I am not convinced that dressing up like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, or Buzz Aldrin would necessarily have helped you in that last one, but you have to find some way of standing out, don't you?

Perhaps, for this new way of getting a job, you'll have to make a few test films to find your finest look. But when you do, just imagine what fun it will be to secure an excellent job without wearing pants.