Why Appearance Matters
Did you know it's been repeatedly proven there's an 18% pay scale spread between equally qualified employees based on appearance?
Many workers have become increasingly casual with their image, some following management's lead, others extending business casual Fridays to the entire work week. With strong professional appearance translating directly into dollars (for both your company and YOU), the dress for success habit is a great one to produce a variety of pay-offs.
Clothes are a language, and everything you put on your body says something. At home, I'm in jeans 90% of the time, but who’d listen to a career coach presenting a seminar on image or communication skills packaged like that? We've all been conditioned to expect successful professionals to look a certain way, so instead of fighting it, use this head start and let it work for you to get you noticed ... and help get your foot in the door.
Image is critical at interviews, separating you from the pack and showing respect for the company & position you’d like. Dress to impress, since looking really important illustrates you’re interested in growing with the company and gives HR a picture of a promotable candidate with potential. Remember, the interviewer sees this as you on your best day. So here are the rules for men and women when it comes to dressing for the interview...
The Rules For Men
The most powerful interview look for men in conservative business is a dark two-piece professional suit, teamed with a crisp, white long-sleeved shirt and red tie. The strongest suit colors are solid navy blue or dark gray or navy, dark gray or black pin stripe. In general, the darker the suit, the more authoritative it reads. Always wear a long-sleeved shirt (never wear a short sleeve center-button shirt with a suit).
The Rules For Women
The strongest professional look is a two-piece matching skirted suit with a long- sleeved blouse and pumps. The most effective suit colors in conservative industries are navy, gray and black in solids and pinstripes. In creative positions, suits can be more fashion forward. A jacket always appears authoritative, and if you wear pants, jacket length should cover your hiney.
Unlike men, women can wear a long-sleeved jacket with a sleeveless shell or short sleeves (always keep your jacket on in interview); this just takes your look in a more casual direction.