No one likes to admit that looking good matters. But guess what…it does!
You only have one shot at making a first impression; so, don’t make the wrong one.
Taking care of one’s outward appearance conveys a sense of professionalism and seriousness. Furthermore, it lets everyone you come in contact with throughout your day know that you are ready to get down to business.
Not convinced? Well, imagine if you were a boss at an important company and a potential hireling entered your office in a baseball cap and cargo shorts. How would their appearance make you feel? Would their credentials alone be enough to get you to give this person another second of your precious time?
Of course not.
After all, the right clothes assist in communicating the single most essential component to any job-related goal – RESPECT.
Seeing as how over half of all communication efforts are categorized as nonverbal, it stands to reason that clothes do a lot more than cover your body. While you are busy spending time shoving as many complements into a conversation with your potential new boss, your clothes, along with your body language, are communicating much more than your words ever can.
As discussed previously, the right clothes tell others you mean business and have no intention of wasting anyone’s time. When you make another feel respected and valued, the one receiving the praise will be more inclined to perform favors for you, speak favorably about you to others, and even provide you with precious inside knowledge. Whether you are reaching for your dream job, doing everything you can to earn that promotion, or asking a colleague for a glowing recommendation, assuming the role of a put-together professional can set you over the top. It is no wonder wearing the proper attire increases your odds of success exponentially.
Now that we understand the importance of looking sharp, what comes next?
I get it, deciding what to wear in the morning can cause quite the headache, but why does it have to be that way? With everything going on during your trek up the professional ladder, choosing the right outfit should definitely be quick and easy.
Rather than jotting down a lengthy list of miscellaneous articles of clothing that may meet your specific needs, just remember one simple word – CONTEXT.
If you have a firm grasp on your environment, then figuring out how fancy or casual your clothes should be will come much more naturally. For instance, if you are applying to a fast-food chain and have an interview for a cashier position, chances are you will not have to show up in a three-piece suit. Instead, a nice polo, blouse, or button down shirt with a pair of slacks should be more than enough. Conversely, if you are attending a high-end business dinner, it may be appropriate to pull out the big guns, or in this case, dress shoes and your best tie or a classic dress.
All this being said, clothes by no means make the person. There is no substitute for working hard and treating others well. However, the right outfit helps to reinforce your good name and ensure that your positive traits do not go unnoticed.