Career Success: Dress the Part

Are you like many job seekers? That looking good on paper is all it takes to get hired – especially with Internet applications becoming the norm.  Then, you’re wrong!   In fact, the way you present yourself to potential employers when you meet them largely affects whether or not you get the job.

Yes, a firm handshake is necessary, but it’s only a start. In order to ensure career success and become a nonprofit leaderyou must look as professional as you are and impress your interviewer.

Follow these simple and effective steps for the interview and beyond:

  1. Modesty is the key.  Wearing a low-cut V-neck to a night out on the town may be okay.  However, it is far from appropriate attire for the office. You’ll impress your potential employer and ensure that they feel comfortable interviewing you.
  • Do not wear anything that is too low cut or too tight. Your shirt should show very little to no cleavage.  Also, your skirt should hit your knee. Although it is okay to wear a skirt without stockings, it’s wise to cover up.
  1. When in doubt, overdress. If your colleagues choose to wear casual attire, that’s their choice. However, it’s likely holding them back from advancing further or receiving promotions. Stand out in a good way by overdressing for the job. If possible, take note of what management wears.  Try to style your clothing according to its formality.
  • If you look assertive and professional, you’ll be treated as such. If your attire is on par with that of the higher-ups in the company, they’re more likely to think highly of you. In turn, you’ll be in a favorable position for a promotion.
  • Of course, being a professional is only part of the equation. Ensure that both the quality of your work and your appearance are excellent in order to fast-track your career.
  1. Wear the right shoes. Women are generally encouraged to wear heels to work. However, appropriate heels for work are different than ones you’d wear to a night on the town.
  • Wear those that are 2.5 to 3.5 inches high are considered appropriate. If you’re in a creative environment, you can likely go as high as 4 inches. However, you should avoid shoes that go over the 5 inches mark in all office environments.
  • Solid colors are standard. Avoid patterned, glittery shoes with all of the bells and whistles. As with any other attire, conservative is best.
  1. Proper grooming. When entering a professional workplace, you must look like a professional. Therefore, your hair should be tamed and fingernails should be clean and well-groomed, and body odor should be under control.
  • Men: Get a haircut regularly and comb your hair every morning before work. Shave your face and ensure that your fingernails are clean.
  • Ladies: Consider blowing your hair straight and curling it with an iron or donning a chic up-do, like a chignon. And of course, where makeup is concerned, less is more.

If you want the management in your company to take you seriously, your attire must show them you’re skilled enough to eventually be in their shoes. When in doubt, dress conservatively. Keep in mind that when wear what is appropriate and your work is top-notch, you’re sure to get noticed at the office for all the right reasons. Aim for that next promotion! You’re a sure winner!