Do You Dress for Success?

What do employers see when they look at you?  A competent professional ready to start working, or a sloppy person who looks like they just crawled out of bed?  Since your appearance will largely determine the type of impression you make, it’s important that you get it right.  Here are some tips that will help you look good:

Dress more formally than necessary.  If you overdress for the interview, the employer will determine that you are trying hard to impress them.  However, if you underdress for the interview, they will likely think that you don’t care about the job.

Be clean and well groomed.  Very few employers would be willing to hire a candidate with greasy hair or dirty fingernails.  If you do nothing else to prepare, make sure you take a shower and brush your teeth before attending a job interview.

Take care of your clothes.  It doesn’t matter how expensive your clothes are; if they’re not clean and ironed, they’ll look sloppy.  Spend the money to get your interview/work clothes dry cleaned.  When you look and feel good, more opportunities will open up for you.

Understand the organizational culture.  When you’re preparing for an interview, take some time to investigate the organizational culture.  Is this a formal organization or do they encourage their employees to be comfortable and casual?  By presenting yourself in a way that is consistent with the organizational culture, you demonstrate that you would be a good fit.

Pay attention to shoes and accessories.  Nothing ruins an outfit like scuffed shoes.  Your shoes and accessories can dramatically affect the way that you look.  Don’t wear anything too flashy; just be neat and professional.

The reality is that most people have already made a judgement of you before you’ve even opened your mouth to speak.  If you’re looking for a job, you can’t afford to risk making a bad impression.  Take some time and effort with your appearance and the employer will see your professionalism and be ready hear what you have to say.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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