Whether we like it or not, how we look actually affects our employment opportunities.
There are stacks of international research studies that highlight the fact that your appearance does matter when it comes to finding a job, promotions and even how much you earn!
First impressions count
Within a few seconds, without you evening uttering a word, the interviewer/s will have sized you up and formed an opinion. Of course what you go on to say during the interview, your CV and references, all play a major part in your success, but so does your appearance.
if You want the job, you need to create the right impression
Wear your best outfit
- Make sure it’s appropriate for the job you’re going for and that it’s clean and tidy. I heard of a woman going to an interview wearing a sheer top with a dark bra showing underneath. It might be a fashion trend, but it's not appropriate for work, let alone an interview.
- Does the colour/s of the outfit enhance your appearance? If the colour is wrong, it could make you look tired or even sick.
- Never go casual. Someone recently wore jandals to an interview!
- If you don’t have an outfit, and can’t afford to buy one, consider borrowing something from a friend/s or check out Dress for Success in your area, a charity that helps women into the workforce.
be Well groomed
Attention to detail is very important.
- your hair and makeup done
- fingernails clean and neat. If you wear nailpolish, ensure it’s not chipped
- your shoes are neat and tidy - polish them if you need to.
This isn't just about jobS...
Think about new relationships or dating. Okay, it's really important to be who you are, but again, first impressions count. If you're dating online, think about your profile - the photo and words you use. If you're going on a date, dress well and make an extra effort.
The same with people who are in sales or business development roles. You are the front person for your company, you need to create the right impression, and how you present yourself is a very important part of this.
I will never forget Dragon's Den judge Peter Jones declining involvement with an entrepreneur because they had turned up wearing jeans. Peter Jones was incensed that this person did not have the courtesy to make the effort and dress appropriately for the investment pitch.
Earn 30% more just for wearing makeup1
I read an article on Forbes (1) website that referred to a number of studies on appearance and employment. One study by the American Economic Review said that women who wear makeup can earn more than 30% more in pay than non-makeup wearing workers! Another American study also showed that women wearing makeup were also ranked higher in competence and trustworthiness!
The article goes on to say that if you’re tall, attractive, workout or blonde, you’re also likely to earn more!
I find all of this abhorrent and I’m sure (hope) it doesn’t happen to this extent in Australia and New Zealand, but regardless of the degree to which it happens, it is a fact that your personal appearance does have an impact on your employment prospects, business development opportunities and new relationships - personal or business.
Consider your appearance as the first tick box in someone's assessment of you. Once that box is ticked, they move on to the next criteria.
Do yourself a favour. put your best foot forward, every time.