The current job situation in our country is bleak. Many people have been unemployed for several months. If you have been getting interviews; but have not received job offers, consider revamping your appearance. Sometimes just a few small changes can make an enormous difference!
Employers want their employees to look professional. Even casual work environments have standards. Make sure you cover the basics. Good personal hygiene is a must! Your hair should be clean and combed; regardless of the style. Men, please make sure your facial hair (if applicable) is kept nice and neat. Unruly facial hair will likely generate less-than-favorable responses from employers.
Arrive to work smelling clean and fresh. If you wear perfume or cologne, make sure it’s light because some people are sensitive to strong odors. Some companies even have policies against wearing perfumes and scented lotions. Consider how smothering it can be if you’re working next to someone with strong perfume or cologne; especially if it is a fragrance you don’t like!
Whether you wear a suit or jeans and a tee shirt to work, make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free. Remember to dress for the occasion. While your “club” clothes may be dressy, they generally aren’t acceptable to wear in a business setting. Low cut blouses, tank tops, and strapless clothing should be avoided; or at least covered up. Leave your ripped jeans and short shorts at home. Pull your pants up. It is never appropriate to show your underwear at work! (Unless you are an underwear model.)
Another thing to consider…many employers disapprove of obvious tattoos and piercings. Cover them up for interviews; then if you get the job, check the company’s dress code before showing off your “ink”.
Make sure you wear shoes you can work in comfortably. Most employers don’t allow flip-flops; but if yours does allow them, only wear them if your feet are presentable! Save the sky-high stilettos for the weekend. Heels can be very professional, if you keep them at a reasonable height. Be conscious of safety considerations in your workplace. In regards to work-place shoes and attire, always err on the conservative side to avoid offending other associates.
What about makeup? There are some women that truly don’t need makeup to look beautiful. There are others that don’t want to wear makeup. Then there those that go to the opposite extreme: the women that desperately need a make-under. Similar to clothes, “club” makeup is unacceptable in most work place settings. Instead, opt for soft, natural, or neutral colors. As a general rule, wearing appropriate makeup shows that you want to look polished and professional. Opting out of makeup completely can also give the wrong impression to employers. It may appear that you don’t think the job is “worthy” of makeup or that you are too lazy to apply it.
If you fear makeup, try getting a few makeovers at cosmetic counters. Ask the beauty consultants to apply natural daytime looks. Once you find a look you like, make sure you feel comfortable applying it yourself. Then, purchase some cosmetics to get started. Department stores almost always have promotions on cosmetics. Purchase-with-purchase and gift-with-purchase deals will help you stretch your dollars! At a bare minimum, use a BB Cream or powder to smooth skin imperfections, a blush or bronzer, a lip gloss or lipstick, and mascara. These items can be applied quickly and will give you a more polished look.
Speaking of polished…Well-manicured nails show that you mean business! In most work places, nails should measure no more than ¼” long, from the tip of the finger to the tip of the nail. Avoid excessively bright colors and nail “bling.” Chipping nail polish is unsightly. It makes you look unkempt! If you don’t use nail polish, nails should be clean and filed uniformly in an oval or rounded square shape. The same is true for toe nails! A perfectly polished pedicure showing out of peep-toe shoes is professional; and it displays your attention to details. And men, while you may not need makeup or nail polish, make sure your nails are kept short and clean.
Displaying a professional image shows that you have respect for future and current employers; that you are confident, and that you are detail-oriented. It is almost always better to over dress for an interview or job position than it is to under dress for one. Employers usually have many more applicants than they have jobs. If you were a Human Resources Manager, would you rather hire the applicant wearing jeans and flip-flops, or the one in the suit and dress shoes?
Your appearance can have a huge impact on your ability to obtain or keep a job. Employers can be very selective in this job market; so dress the part to make a good impression. When employers see your professionalism and confidence, they will want to talk with you about your skills and experience. Make yourself stand out to attract the job you want!