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Guys – Dress Appropriately PLEASE!

By Scott Fiore, TriStarr Staffing

People who know me, know that appearance is important to me. I too often see guys inappropriately dressed for work, interviews, heck even dates! Whether you like it or not, the first impression you make – yes guys, you too -is critical. I thought I would take this opportunity to focus on the guys and how to make a great first impression – especially in an interview.

When you arrive for your interview what are you saying about yourself by the way you dress? (A note here – PLEASE be polite and respectful to the receptionist. I can’t tell you how many people come into our office and are rude, or condescending to our receptionist. Well guess what – SHE TELLS US. Yup – you’re pretty much done at this point. Common sense guys….). Back to how you look. If you are;

Neatly dressed – I may think that you are organized.

Properly accessorized – I may think that you pay attention to details.

Dressed in a current fashion – I may think that you are in tune with trends and new ideas.

Dressed in well fitted, quality clothing – I may think that you are secure, respectful, solvent, and not desperate.

Dressed too casually – I may think that you are not serious.

Today’s employers are looking for well-rounded candidates who can “multi-task.” Many jobs require three skill sets for one position. This means that during a single work day, an employee may be stationed at a computer and during the course of the day interface with clients, superiors, and colleagues. Dressing the part has never been as crucial!

Appearing well-dressed, with a professional, confident image bodes well with your future employer. It will not only help you land a great job but will give you an edge in negotiating your salary.

Tips on Dressing for an Interview:

Even if the dress code is casual, wear a suit or sport coat and dress slacks to the interview. You want to show them that you are a serious candidate.

Keep your look professional and conservative. Do not distract the interviewer with a novelty tie (this isn’t the time for Homer Simpson or Sponge Bob) or excessive jewelry.

Stick with darker, more conservative colors. Navy and charcoal are good choices with a white or light blue dress shirt and a simple, expensive-looking tie. Go to a good men’s store, and ask the clerk for an interview tie from the sale or clearance rack. Wear your suit, or show him a similar one from the rack.

Always have two or three different outfits ready for the interview process. You will lose your edge showing up in the same clothing each time.

Make sure all of your clothing fits properly. Nothing should be too loose, puckering or pulling. A properly tailored suit will hide those extra pounds.

Have your outfit cleaned, stain-free, and properly pressed. Wrinkles, and stains scream unorganized buffoon to me.

Check for loose threads, missing buttons, and unraveling hems. This screams buffoon even louder to me!

Your pants should be long enough to touch the heel of your shoe and when you sit, there should be no bare ankles and calves showing. (Oh – and please make sure your socks MATCH!).

Make sure your shoes are in good condition and polished – please polish them the night before – I don’t want to see shoe polish on your hands – you just told me you procrastinate.

Your face should be clean-shaven or, if you wear a beard or mustache, it should be neatly trimmed.

Do not overdo the cologne or aftershave. It is best not to wear these products on an interview. You’re not trying to pick me up – you’re trying to get to the next round of interviews.

Your hair and nails must be well-groomed. Your appearance should be neat and professional.

Keep jewelry to a minimum. Save the bling for the weekend. Also, unless you are in the entertainment business, remove earrings and other visible body piercing accessories.

Carry a good quality portfolio or briefcase with a few extra copies of your resume, your references, and paper and pen.

So, go out there with confidence in your slam-dunk appearance and land the job of your dreams!

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