“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

If you are about to enter the workplace, looking for a new job or seeking a promotion, dressing and looking the part can make all the difference.

Many believe appearances should not matter and candidates should be judged on merit and experience rather than their dress style. Unfortunately “books are judged by their covers” in today’s fast-paced world. Your wardrobe choices do reflect upon you and speak to your character in the professional world. This is especially true in the case of job interviews, where a first impression and a relatively short conversation are all that a hiring manager has to base her opinions around.

Acing the interview.
It’s hard enough to land a job interview, let alone get the job – be sure to dress professionally and leave them with a positive, memorable impression of who you are. Follow these 5 steps for interview dress success.

1. Know the dress code. If you are not sure if you should wear a tie or a jacket, phone up the company and ask them what their dress code policy is. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Err on the conservative side. If you are not able to find out the dress code,  it’s always better to be a bit over-dressed than under-dressed.

3. No to novelty! Skip the cartoon ties and socks. Meeting a prospective employer for the first time is not an ideal moment to wear your Emoji socks or super high silver platform heels. Stick to solid colors, simple styles, and subtle prints. Leave the cutesy pens, Hello Kitty notepads, Superman phone covers at home.  You need to surround yourself with a “halo” of quality. If you have any doubts ask yourself, “Does this say professional?”

4. Don’t be memorable for the wrong reasons. Be sparing with aftershave and fragrances. You don’t want to be remembered as the “Aramis” guy or “Daisy” girl. Ladies, tone down your make-up, nail polish. Guys – dirty nails, over-gelled hair – anything that will detract from your message.

5. Do your research. Do a deep dive into the company’s website, social media – gather any information providing you clues about the company’s values and culture. Even though individuality is important keep in mind that your interviewer will be looking at you with this question in mind – does he/she qualify to be our company’s brand ambassador?

Don’t let your dress code and grooming stand in the way of a new job, career or promotion!

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