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Simple Truths about Wardrobe and Grooming for Your Job Interview

Tips From The Pros, Understand The Corporate Culture, General Tips About Personal Grooming, Wardrobe And Grooming Tips For Women

It's an old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Ironically, your job search will likely provide you with several opportunities to make a first impression. Your resume and cover letter make a first impression about your qualifications, which hopefully will lead an employer to contact you. When the employer calls to arrange a face-to-face interview or conduct a screening interview on the phone, you have the opportunity to make a second first impression based on how you handle yourself on the phone. Finally, when you show up for a face-to-face interview, you make perhaps the most important first impression of the job-search process—how you look.

The simple truth is that appearance matters in a wide array of social and business settings. Whether that's fair is a discussion for another time and place, but the practical, pragmatic, no-nonsense truth is that your appearance establishes an impression in the eye of the beholder that can be difficult to change, especially if it's a negative one. Image consultants will tell you that more than half of another person's perception of you will be based on how you look. According to one colleague who works with high school students entering the workforce for the first time, several employers have told her, “I don't care about the resume. I'll hire the best dressed kid who walks through the door.”

Most of us (this author included) aren't blessed with movie-star good looks; this simply means that we have to pay that much more attention to “packaging"—our wardrobe and grooming. Careful attention to the clothes we wear, how we wear our hair, and our body language can produce an image that is favorably received by hiring managers and potential coworkers. In this chapter, we will discuss how best to prepare yourself to make that best possible first impression.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesJob Search, Job Interview Questions, & Job Interview Tips