Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dress for Success and Land That Job!

You have rehearsed for your interview, researched about your dream company enough and appeared to be passing in all qualifications required for the job. Still you didn't get it. Aside from the company's own reasons (like maybe there's something more qualified credentials and experience wise), perhaps it was your business apparel choice that made that man behind the desk turn up his nose.

Regardless the place or environment of the workplace you're applying for, you should always wear appropriately. This is because, according to many image consultants, dressing up is also one important factor that can make or break your chances of getting the job. Remember first impression lasts, and physical appearance and neatness count.

Here are the things you should do:

Analyze the atmosphere of the company that you're applying to. Is it a laid-back atmosphere? Are there a lot of cleaning duties or stocking tasks involved? Is it a high-class establishment where employees are like in a contest of best dressed?

Investigate by popping in one day to observe what other employees are wearing. Talk to former employees about the expectations of the business's supervisor.

If you are applying for a position with a big-league business (such as a bank, high-class retail store, investment company, etc.), wear nothing short than high-class polished business-class apparel. Even if you are in your 20s, dressing as if you are 10 years older will give you a mature and professional air.

To Women: Classic business attire is a white button-down blouse or polo, a long black skirt or dress pants, panty hose and black flat shoes or closed heeled shoes. This may be a far cry from your usual clothing, but remember, you are trying to present your best professional image and not your personal tastes.

If you wear contact lenses, put your glasses on instead. Your hair should be tied back in a bun or tightly-secured pony tail. Make-up should be minimal. Please avoid wearing bright eye shadow or bright red lipstick. Career apparel is all about looking smart and sophisticated and being able to pull it off.

To Men: A nice knit sweater with a collared shirt underneath might suffice for career apparel for the interview. If not, stick to the traditional pin-striped button-down long sleeved polo with a solid tie and khaki or black dress pants. Please don't wear sports shoes or rubber shoes! Also remember to polish your shoes well.

If you are interviewing for a more relaxed establishment (like a pet store, newspaper delivery or fast-food restaurant) or for a physical labor job, dressing in black tie career apparel may be a bit over the top. Instead, opt for comfortable career apparel within reason. Wearing blue jeans is an interview taboo.  To appear more interesting, go for casual tan corduroy or cotton pants and a long-sleeved knit top. Keep it simple, but make sure you appear clean-cut, well put together and polished. For women, add a pair of small gold or pearl earrings and avoid dangling ones. For men, flourish with a nice wrist watch.

While career apparel is important in impressing your prospective boss, be sure to adlib extras that will make your face memorable. Smile a lot, speak clearly and concisely, be knowledgeable about the expected work duties and above all, be courteous and polite.