Why Your Appearance Matters and What to Wear


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Think of your favorite meal. Lock that image firmly in your mind. Now imagine that meal being presented to you on the lid of a garbage can. All of a sudden, that favorite is not as appealing. No matter how alluring it is, if it's not presented in a manner that's consistent with what you're anticipating, then it loses it's appeal, right? Right!

The same holds true for employer's expectations of job seekers. The image employes have job seekers is they will present themselves in a professional manner and the first indication employers have of the job seeker's level of professionalism is revealed in the job seeker's attire.

In the course of attending hundreds of job fairs, I've experienced dozens of occassions when I was overpowered by cologne, embarrassed by the sight of too much cleavege or legs, and dazzled by jeans or the sight of shirts left untucked. I've seen four-inch heels, shirts open from the neck to the navel and flip flops. I can tell you that I never even came close to hiring any of these fashion misfits. Any one of them may have been just the candidate I was looking for in terms of their experience and qualifications, but it was too late. The damage was already done.

Trust me, on this issue I'm not the exception. Why would I risk my credibility bringing in a candidate who shows looking more like they are getting ready for a night on the town then a job interview? Nah!

Here are some tips on what to wear to job fairs and interviews. The items don't need to be overly expensive. Just professional. Besides, aren't you worth the investment?

Here goes:

Cut: Two piece, long sleeve, professional skirted or pant suit
Color: Navy, dark gray, or black
Fabric: 100% Wool or blend of at least 50% wool

Skirt length: at knee or 1” below the knee

Perfume:No perfume
Makeup: Light application
Hair: Neatly groomed
Nails: Clear or neutral color

Color: White or pastels
Fabric: Silk or polyester blends
Style: Button-down, long sleeve that is not low cut or sheer

Necklace: Pearls, single strand; gold or silver
Earrings: Small and close to ear
Portfolio: Dark leather portfolio for resumes and notebook
Handbag: Small, conservative style

Shoes: Well polished, closed toe, closed heel, dress shoe with 1-11/2 inch heel

Hose: Natural tone or sheer black hose

Cut: Two piece, traditional cut
Fabric: 100% Wool or blend of at least 50% wool
Color: Navy, dark gray, or black

Shoes: Black, well polished all leather lace shoes
Socks: Black or navy blue

Color: White
Fabric: 100% cotton
Style: Button-down, long sleeve

Cologne: No cologne or aftershave
Hair: Neatly groomed (professional cut)

Jewelry: Analog watch and leather band
Belt: Black leather

Color: Conservative, burgundy, deep greens, paisley, stripes, geometric patterns

Why would you show up at a job fair looking as if you were ready for a night on the town? That makes as much sense as washing your feet with your socks on. Don't let your first impression be your worse impression. Invest in your attire. It's an investment in your future.

John P. Carvana has been a career serivce practitioner for almost thirty years. He has worked as a Corporate Recruiter with a Fortune 500 and has held management level positions with some of the most prestigious universities in America. He has helped hundreds of job seekers prepare for and succcessfully enter their desired career path.

John is a certified Career and Life Purpose Coach and specializes in assisting individuals thirty (30) years and older with finding their carer passion, identifying obstacles and beliefs that sabotage success, and with entering (or re-entering)the job market. He specializes in effective resume development and helping others master the skills to conduct interviews that get results.

For more information, visit John's website at http://www.discoveredpurpose.com , send him an email at jcarvana@comcast.net or give him a call at 209.479.2165

© LPF Consulting 2005


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