Is Your Appearance Holding You Back?

Does the way that you look matter when you are job hunting?  The short answer is, “Yes!”  Even if you are more than qualified for the position, the employer will be assessing you based on your appearance.  While it may seem unfair, the reality is that we all do it.  Here are some tips that will help you make your appearance an asset to your job search:

Clothing.  While you don’t have to look like you just stepped off a runway, your style should be current and professional.  Your clothes need to be clean and pressed and they should fit you properly.  While you can incorporate something distinctive into your outfit to make you stand out, you never want your clothing to be a distraction.

Personal grooming.  Personal hygiene is an absolute MUST in the business world.  You need to shower, wear deodorant, and have fresh breath.  When you are cooking with or eating strong smelling foods, you need to change your clothes.  If you don’t take the time to manage your personal hygiene, few employers will be willing to hire you.

Posture.  Your posture impacts how people perceive you.  Do you stand up straight or are you hunched over?  By doing simple exercises and just by being aware of your posture, you can carry yourself in a way that projects confidence.

Organizational fit.  Since every company is different, it is important that your appearance is consistent with the organizational culture.  You want to present yourself as someone who would easily fit in with the team.  Do some research on the company or talk to people to get a sense of the way people dress at the organization.

There are hundreds of components to your appearance and they all contribute to the impression that the employer forms of you.  It may feel complicated, but what it all comes down to is whether or not you are presenting yourself as a qualified and professional.  When you take the time to attend to the details, you show the employer that you care about this opportunity and you present yourself as someone who they would like to have representing their company.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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