Physical Appearance When Job Hunting

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If you have to ask, you’re already in deep doo doo. Didn’t your parents recite the “best foot forward” routine to you a jillion times? Did it ever sink in? Are you so committed your angry non-conformist posture that you refuse to venture out of your own selfish little blanket of immaturity? If you’re job hunting, now’s the time to drop your pretense and go out as a mature adult to meet the real world.

You may be applying for a job in a junkyard, retail store, restaurant or posh office. No matter. It is always a good idea to dress up …. put that best foot forward … when you go in for your interviews. Despite what all the cool kids are wearing these days at school or in the ‘hood, do the important interview with style and restraint. Showing up with dragging pants, lot’s of bare flesh, a mop of blue hair and jewelry sticking out of all parts of your head may be your way of telling the world you’re cool. But it will probably get you a cool reception by the interviewer, and no job offer.

I’ll cite an example about appropriate appearance anyone can understand. It isn’t about applying for a job, but in its own negative way, it does illustrate dressing for success. We’ve all seen accused murderers, male or female, on police mug shots at the time of their arrest. They’re all sloppily dressed in the required punk uniform: droopy clothes, bad hair, tattoos and face jewelry. Then, on the day of the trial, the same characters show up in court, all clean and groomed, looking like employees of a conservative law firm or a high-class mortuary.

Why do they do it? They dress, with guidance from their crafty lawyers, to impress the jury of their innocence and conformity to social behavior. They may have killed a dozen people, but in the courtroom, no one looks sharper. Although most job applicants aren’t guilty of murder, the rule of proper attire is just as necessary for job seekers. Like it or not, the interviewer will be your jury and judge.

What many young people fail to understand is that a prospective employer, rightly or wrongly, may see an improperly dressed and oddly groomed applicant as a potential troublemaker. Parents and schools may try to get past the costume and try to deal with the young person’s lousy attitude. However, employers have neither the patience nor the inclination to take what they may consider unnecessary chances on getting a bad apple among their employees.

Written By: Ted Sherman

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