CFN – It is suggested by image consultants that 55% of the way people perceive you is based on how you look. We have all heard the old adage “dress for success” and it is just as true today as it was 25, 50, or 100 years ago. While the business climate today is often more casual than it was a few years ago, it does not mean that you should be if you are looking to make a good impression, get a new job, land a promotion, build a new client base, or earn the respect of others.
There will be a few of you who are reading this right now thinking that I am “out of touch” or that people should not judge “a book by its cover” – after all you are talented, smart, and have something unique to offer and your appearance should not factor into the equation. But, like it or not, it does matter.
Visualize these two scenarios:
You are invited to attend a dinner meeting of business leaders in your community as an opportunity to meet people and build relationships. You arrive in baggy pants, shirt tails hanging out, and wearing sneakers only to find they are all dressed in conservative dark suits, white shirts, and polished shoes. You will stand out, and people will notice you, but what impression are you creating? Do you look like you care or that these folks are important to your future?
A sales person approaches you to sell you personal care products, but he/she has body odour, dirty fingernails, and dirty clothes. What message does that sent to you? Would you buy from this person?
Dressing for the part is important. People are very visual and will judge you on how you look. They will make assumptions on your intelligence, work ethic, personality, and interest in the job. Before attending an event, or an interview, or a meeting with your new boss do some research. Call the Human Resources department or the event organizer and ask about the dress code. If in doubt, dress up. Clean hair, well manicured nails, pressed pants or a skirt, white shirts, jackets, and polished shoes never go out of style.
Sue McConville and Associates
P.O. Box 686, Ingleside Ontario K0C1M0
Providing inspiring and meaningful coaching to transform your organization.