How to Dress for Your Job
Your first impression in
the interview - how are you dressed?
Dress for interview
Maysonave has coached executives, professionals, and politicians in
achieving excellence in communication and image since 1982. Her training
in the arts of communication, professional dress, and psychology has
enabled Sherry to assist tens of thousands of people to reach greater
levels of success. An
accomplished motivational speaker and author,
appearances and been interviewed by over 100 TV, radio and print
publications. She's made multiple appearances on NBC's Today Show, Fox
National News, ABC, CBS, and NBC television affiliates, NPR radio, and has
been interviewed by USA Today, the Financial Times,
Associated Press, the Wall Street
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here for Sherry's guide and more tips on how to dress for the interview.
DON’T LET YOUR IMAGE SABOTAGE YOUR CAREER
are you “saying” before you speak a word?
looking harried and unprofessional draining away your personal power and
positive impact? While it’s easy to succumb to the hazards of the
corporate rat race, beware. Appearing
stressed, rumpled, or haggard downgrades your professional image. Portraying a harried image
regardless of how hard you work or how smart you are - places you
at risk of damaging your professional reputation,
of hitting a wall in your career, of impeding your success potential, of
not getting the job you want.
get ahead (and to stay ahead) in any career, pay attention to your
workplace image as it is a powerful communicator. The nonverbal messages
your image sends can work in your behalf, or they can work against you.
Your clothing is a primary component of your image and it’s a potent
communicator with its own coded language. Your apparel can signal that you
are a leader with winning potential, or it can scream that you’re a
loser. If your clothing is waving the loser flag, you have to work extra
hard to command respect and inspire trust.
The trick is to start
each day looking impeccable with a highly professional put-together image,
a look that includes businesslike attire that is well coordinated and in
mint condition. It doesn't matter if you are slight of frame or wear
big and tall clothing, it's
important to wear clothing that fits well and sized correctly. Immaculate grooming, from your head to your feet, is also
People do notice the
details of your image. More importantly, people make assumptions about you
based upon your late or mid-afternoon image just as much as they do at
8:00 a.m. Statistics show that executives are especially observant of
their cohorts’ business image. According to a recent survey conducted by
MRI (Management Recruiters International), more than one third (34.2%) of
executives polled think that business casual dress has gone too casual,
study conducted by two economists, the Hammermesh-Biddle project, revealed
that attractive people have higher incomes. This was true even for
construction work, telemarketing, and other jobs that did not require
public contact. To highlight this point, the Wall
Street Journal article announcing the project’s findings was named,
“Good Looks Can Mean a Pretty Penny on the Job.”
can be perceived as attractive. Yes, anyone. If you pay attention to the
finer details of your image, you can be perceived as attractive and
professional, whether you are dressed up or down.
today’s digital world, the visual aspect has never been more critical.
Harry Beckwith, author of Selling
The Invisible, says that people do not simply form impressions of
others, they become anchored to them. Beckwith claims that busy people - almost all people today - are apt to make snap judgments of others, and then base all their later
decisions on them.
you afford to make a stressed and rumpled impression? No, not if you
consider that your success or getting the job you want is often tied to
others’ perceptions of you. A prominent CEO recently said, “If people only knew that it can take two years to undo one negative
impression, surely they would try harder.”
image is the “Home Page” of your personal web site and a web page of
your company’s site. Do others click on you as having the answers?
they see you as having the ability to get the job done, or do they surf
statistics reveal that in only five to thirty seconds, three things are
determined about you, whether accurate or false:
Your Socioeconomic Status
Your Educational Level
the end, we all tend to associate well-dressed individuals with
intelligence and achievement. And most people like to be associated with
winners. Thus, well-dressed and well-groomed folks are always granted more
opportunities to prove themselves -
granted more opportunities for success.
is a game, somewhere between war and sport. Both war and sport require
strategies to win. Just as the best sports equipment can give an athlete
the competitive edge, a crisp businesslike image can work to help you get
the job you want as well as gain you promotions and raises.
are many things in life that we have no control over. One thing you can
take charge of is your image; you actually have a monopoly on it. Avoid
the pitfalls of a harried image with these tips:
De-stress Your Image: Power Up to Get Ahead
don't distract. Look businesslike, yet stylish, not boring like a corporate
filing cabinet. Wear a fashionable suit or dressy tailored separates that
appear as a well-coordinated outfit. A tailored jacket, one that fits you
well, is the essential power garment to any separates outfit, even a
your wardrobe. Win the time war, organize your closet so
that your business clothing is separated from your social
apparel. At all times, have at least three complete outfits
(business casual or traditional business) pressed and ready to wear -
outfits that empower you, making you feel like a million.
Winning Armor. Long sleeves are essential to a
take-me-serious look. We've already discussed the power of a
tailored jacket. It's your armor. But if dealing with a
more casual situation, wear long sleeves. Bare arms target you
for sharks or cause you to be discounted. Sleeveless garments
worn in the workplace mark a woman as a socialite, not a serious
businesswoman. Short-sleeve shirts worn for business relegate a
man to the second string.
a Leg Up. Wearing socks or hosiery is non-negotiable.
Naked feet (and/or bare legs) do not command respect in a business
environment. Save that look for your social time.
Your Best Foot Forward. Shoes tell your secrets; they are the
strongest indicators of your socioeconomic status. For business
wear, shoe styles must be closed-toe and closed-heel and they must be
in mint condition. Nicked heels, scruffy toes, or unpolished
footwear scream failure.
Successful. A successful image attracts greater
success. And success leaves clues in your physical image.
Buy the best quality garments and accessories that you can
afford. Have goals to get ahead and work them by dressing for
the job you want, not the one you have.
perfect timing. Wear a metal watch; it adds enduring
strength and power to any business image - male and female.
Confidence. Stand tall, with your shoulders back. To
be perceived as confident, women must wear tastefully applied
makeup. In our society, well-applied makeup conveys high
self-esteem and confidence. It says that you pay attention to
details. Women who consistently wear tastefully applied makeup
earn 20 to 30% higher incomes. For both men and women, be sure
to finish your face with a smile.
A-head. A stylish haircut is essential to a professional
image. A great hair cut saves you time; it's far easier to
style. Hair is a readable barometer. Avoid becoming freeze
dried in the past with an out-dated style.
powerfully. Accumulated stress shows in your body via your
breathing. The more stressed you are, the more you tend to
breathe shallowly. Take several time outs each day to do power
breathing exercises. Let your mind go, and breathe in and out -
from your lower abdomen - for three full minutes at a time. Then
watch your energy be revitalized. Your skin and eyes will look
refreshed. And your posture will return to a power position.
pays. Take control. Go that extra image mile. De-stress
and power up your nonverbal communication today. Maintain your image
consistently and watch your ability to command respect and your income
For more tips on how to power up your image and
project success, visit Sherry's Communication & Image Resource Center.
2001 Sherry Maysonave and Empowerment Enterprises LLC