Category : Job Search
This is a guest post from our friend Gloria Bell of Red Stapler Consulting.
All too often we fail to stop and think about appearance. So much emphasis has been put on “what’s inside” of a person, we don’t remember that a job interview is a lot like a first date. There has to be a certain “attraction”. You have to give that potential employer a reason to keep talking to you. And more importantly a reason to want to keep you around.
Being realistic, you don’t have a long and accomplished job history or that fancy piece of parchment from “Wherever” University to sway them in your favor. What you do have is your appearance and your earnestness. So what does this mean? Do you show up to apply for a job at a fast food restaurant or a hardware store in a suit? No. What it means is that you show up to fill out that application or for that interview dressed appropriately, or maybe a little better dressed than their employees generally appear. Not in your “I’m with Stupid” or some other cute, or goodness forbid, obscene saying shirt. Keep in mind the environment you will be working in – an office, a fast food restaurant, an upscale retail store, whatever it may, there is a standard “dress”, at minimum, match that. It also means some good personal grooming – showered, hair combed, clothes clean & neat.
What you want is an appearance that is going to leave an impression. Something that
makes you stand out from the hundreds of other people your age who are applying for the same jobs. Standing out is also more than your clothing, it is your manners, your speech, your “pulled together” overall appearance. It means pulling out those manners that Mom and Dad hammered into you at the kitchen table – Yes Ma’am, No Sir, etc… It means listening to questions, not interrupting and giving thoughtful, accurate answers. It means remembering that the person you are interviewing with, whatever their age may be, is not one of your “buds” that you talk shorthand or slang with.
So next time you are heading out to fill out applications or hopefully go to that interview, stop, look at yourself in the mirror or, even better ask an adult to take a look at you. Would you (or the adult you ask) hire you looking like that?