I know you’ve heard it before, but how important is it really to dress so that people are impressed with you ?
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Cliché? Perhaps, but there is truth to this statement. And with the national unemployment rate stubbornly high for the last several years–and still lingering around 8.3%–job seekers especially know how important it is to make the right first impression!
Here are a few practical tips to help you make the right impression the first time.
When in doubt, choose to stand out. If you’re iffy or unsure of what the dress code is–or if there is even a dress code–then play it safe by taking the dressier approach. It is always more appropriate and respectable to be overdressed than it is to be underdressed. If nothing else, people will likely compliment you on your jazzed-up look.
Less is more. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on an entire new wardrobe. Invest in a few classic pieces–such as a blazer, a white collared shirt, or a black knee-length skirt–and then mix and match a few simple accessories from there.
Dress to impress–even on “casual Friday.” Just because it’s casual Friday at your corporate office doesn’t mean you can stroll into work with clothes that mirror your pajamas. If you wear jeans, consider tucking in your shirt and wearing a belt for a casual, yet crisp and clean look.
Step up your wardrobe even when you’re on a tighter budget. You don’t have to shop high-end stores for a high-end look. Shop the clearance rack at your favorite retail store, visit garage sales and thrift stores or even check out eBay® for some gently used or never worn pieces. You’re sure to get your return on investment when shopping smart.
Pass on the perfume or cologne. Especially if you’re heading out to a job interview, as some people have sensitivity and/or allergic reactions to various scents.
Oral hygiene counts! Don’t let bad breathe be the elephant in the room. Even though you’re well groomed and visibly presentable, having bad breathe can leave a lasting impression on someone–and not a good one at that!
Next time you get an invitation for a cocktail party or you’ve finally nailed down that job interview, be sure you’re dressed appropriately–and dressed for success. Not only do you get one–and only one chance–to make that first impression; it’s typically cemented in someone’s mind for a lifetime.