I was listening to the radio and a guy told a story about how he heard that there were a lot of oil jobs in North Dakota, so he put on his suit and drove 20 hours north and tried his luck in finding a new job. He wasn't the only one with the same idea, but he was the only one dressed in a suit. He got a six figure job that day.
Did wearing the suit get him that job? No, but it was one of the factors that figured into his hiring!
I have a friend that runs a staffing agency. He once told me that none of his clients ever called him back and said, "I really liked that candidate, but she was really overdressed!"
Every time I talk to a group of owners and bring up this story, they always chime in with the times when a job candidate shows up inappropriately dressed. Always!
I believe that job candidates do this because they have never been taught the right way to find a job.
Have you ever gone into a business and seen a teenager sprawled out across a counter filling out a job application. Usually, they are not dressed well; this may be the first impression they are giving to the person who will be hiring - not good!
Here's a plan. Dress up in business casual and go to the place of business where you want to work. Ask for an application and ask who does the hiring (see if you can get contact information). Also, ask when this person works.
Next, take the application home and take some time filling it out. Find someone with great penmanship and spelling skills to help if you can. Dress up again and go in and turn in your application to the hiring manager, if possible. Pick a time when you think the business is at a slow time of the day - don't go into a fast food place at noon.
If you are able to actually turn your application into the hiring manager, be sure to ask for the job. After you leave, if you were able to get the manager's contact information, send a thank you note and again express your desire for the job.
If you do this, you will stand out!