HOW YOUR IMAGE AND WHAT YOU WEAR CAN HELP YOU LAND- OR LOSE- YOUR NEXT JOB
by Robin Edwards
So after posting resumes and filling out applications online, you finally land a face to face interview. Time to celebrate and get prepared, and not just about for Q & A portion of the interview process.
For better or worse, we are judged on our ability to perform, and represent our future new company, based in large part on our appearance, and the physical impression you make during that first meeting- even within the first 3 minutes matters most Those of us over 40 need to make sure we are looking current and up to date regardless of outstanding credentials and work history.
Here are some valuable tips to help you make the your best first impression:
WARM SMILE and HANDSHAKE- ALWAYS wear your smile!! Stand tall and shake hands, smiling with firm grip.
TEETH - White teeth and a bright smile are very inviting and youthful. If stained beyond the aid of over the counter products, invest in professional whitening.
NAILS- Men if you haven't had a manicure this is a great time. Well manicured nails, as well as well styled hair and white teeth tell people that you care about the way you look and feel about yourself; that you have confidence. Employers HIRE PEOPLE who have confidence! At the very least have your nails trimmed and use hand cream so hands are not chapped and dry.
Note here to the ladies- keep the nails understated. French manicure or neutral colors work well.
APPROPRIATE APPAREL CHOICES FOR WOMEN
Keep your outfit classy and professional. Skirt and blouse/ sweater/ jacket/ slacks are fine.
Please follow these basic rules.
Keep the short skirts and tight sweaters that show cleavage at home!
Knee length or up to 2" above knee is good- too long and you look dated. Slacks are fine but be careful not to go too baggy, short or high waisted or they can date you as well. Ever hear of Mom jeans? Don't go there, girlfriend. Looking young is one thing but beware.. The key is to look updated and current- don't reach for the cougar look on an interview!! Keep jewelry simple and understated; no big bangles and chains. Pearls work for us at any age
A classic no fail look is fitted but not too tight dark or neutral skirt at or above the knee; white or pastel button down, cardigan or jacket, sheer hose and neutral or dark pumps (not stilettos!) to match the skirt. Black jackets are great- powerful.. red shows confidence; maybe add a scarf with red, an ivory shirt, taupe pants and black pumps. Scarves are very fashionable but be careful here unless you are interviewing in an art/ music/ PR etc type of job...ask me if you need some advice here!
APPROPRIATE CHOICES FOR MEN
I meet so many men who think that just because they have a closet full of suits (from the 80's) that they don't need a new suit. Styles have changed significantly in the past few years and the most important feature these days is FIT and proportion.
Baggy pleated pants and over-sized jackets with wide lapels scream I am over 50!!! If you haven't already, please invest in one good interview suit that FITS YOU- narrow lapels, and trim. I'm happy to help with free consult on this. If you are good in the suit department, please be sure to wear a shirt that fits well- white, lavender light gray or blue is best for a traditional yet current look. Collar types can compliment or detract from facial features so it is good to know what is best for you. Always be mindful of the dress code for the company you are interviewing with and don't under dress. It's better to show up in a suit and tie if you're not sure. Keep ties understated and classy- and not fat! Choose small dot patterns and solids. Stay away from bold paisleys and cardigans which can age you. A tie bar and a pocket square can really add a boost of current right away of chosen correctly.
SHOE ALERT!!! Women have known forever the value of good shoes but some men miss this one and it is essential SHINE YOUR SHOES and wear a NICE BELT. A good watch if you have one and you're good to go!!
For your own 15 min free consult and $20 off your first suit contact Robin below
Robin Edwards, Executive Director of Suit Ursel, is a personal and corporate branding coach and style consultant.
Learn more: www.suiturself.co