The Richmond Register

September 22, 2013

Road to success is paved by your appearance

By Jennifer Naiper
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — If you are searching for employment, want to change jobs, or will be searching for employment in the near future, the choices you make for your everyday appearance right now can greatly impact your ability to get the job you really want later on.

If you think that clothing and appearance are not very important, think again.

First impressions are lasting impressions. Make a wrong first impression, and it’s an uphill battle to change someone’s perspective of you.

Make a great first impression with appropriately clothing choices and a clean appearance, and you’ll find employment doors will tend to open faster.

Consider if you had a serious medical condition and required treatment from a new doctor.

You’re waiting in the exam room and the door opens. Your new doctor comes in to greet you wearing a pair of faded blue jeans, a stained T-shirt and worn out dirty gym shoes.

The nurse accompanies the doctor into the room wearing yoga pants and a halter top.

After you got over the initial shock, you’d likely wonder if they even take their jobs seriously. After all, decisions affecting your life are now in their hands and it is apparent they can’t even decide what is considered appropriate dress attire for their profession.

Would you immediately seek a second opinion or would you go ahead and schedule surgery?

What if you have a legal dispute and needed the representation of an attorney?

Would it worry you if you met with the attorney for an appointment and the individual wore shorts, a tank top and a pair of flip flops?

What if their office staff and paralegals also looked as if they belonged on a beach somewhere? Would you wonder how much they cared about their clients’ legal issues?

Is your impression of this attorney one of laziness and incompetence? Do you want this person to enter a courtroom and stand before a judge or jury on your behalf?

Would you refer others to this attorney if they encountered a legal situation requiring expert legal advice? Would you contact a different attorney?

Has it ever crossed your mind what business owners and hiring managers may be thinking when they get the chance to meet you and hundreds or even thousands of other people during career fairs, community events, trade shows, and other events?

When you are searching for employment, you should always keep in mind that every opportunity to meet an employer or hiring manager, whether it’s on-site or out in the community at a public event, is a chance to leave a great impression and show an interest in their business.

Your goal is for them to remember you when the time comes to apply for a job with them.

Don’t be the person that an employer remembers because you attended an event inappropriately dressed, wearing clothing that was too tight, too baggy, too revealing, too outdated, unclean or even worse.

Dress to impress. Dress for success.

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