Why You Should Dress for the Job You Want
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Why You Should Dress for the Job You Want

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Admit it, once you’ve gotten a first impression of a new acquaintance, it’s hard to shake. They could be an amazing individual but you can’t forget about how standoffish they were when you first met or the fact that there was a mustard stain on their trousers. First impressions are important, always. No matter how good of a person you really are, even a small wrinkle can derail your career plans. Whether it’s your first meeting with a hiring manager or the third, making sure you’re dressed for the job you want is going to make a difference. But why is your outerwear just as important as the information listed on your resume? Take a look at what kind of impact your career “uniform” can have of your goals and why should take that extra second to unwrinkle before leaving for the office.

  • You have limited time to be memorable. Unfortunately, you don’t have much time to make sure the interviewer (or anyone, really) gets a good feel of who you are and why you’re a qualified applicant for the position. In fact, according to studies published in Business Insider, a first impression is made within seven to seventeen seconds of seeing you and shaking your hand. That’s hardly any time at all. So you need to make an impact before you even say hello. That’s where what you wear comes in. Making sure you’re dressed neatly is a priority, as well as making sure you look as professional as possible. The first impression an interviewer or hiring manager will make will be based on what you’re wearing. Wrinkly button up? You’re obviously sloppy and don’t pay attention to detail. Or you don’t care about the job you’re applying to.
  • What you wear shows off your personality. Yes, even boring business professional clothes can give someone who doesn’t know you well a hint about who you are. Dressing for the job you want isn’t necessarily about buying pricey items that make you look successful. It’s about knowing your audience and showing that you care about their time. When you walk into an interview with clean, neat, and professional clothing you show that you took the time to make a good impression. In those first seven to seventeen seconds, they will be able to see that you take this interview seriously and you’re enthusiastic about working there. It’s as easy as just trying.
  • What does it mean to dress for the job you want? Making an excellent first impression is essential, but dressing for the job you want also means having a sense of the company you’re applying to. If you’re looking to work at a tech-y start-up staffed by millennials, you probably don’t want to don starched shirts and boring ties. Researching a company you’re interested in working for includes getting a feel for the people and culture. This absolutely does not mean that you need to change who you are and your sense of style to “fit in.” This just means being aware of the culture and the atmosphere in your workplace. If it’s casual, you wear your work appropriate jeans and tshirts. If it’s more formal, a suit. Be aware and knowledgeable of the place you hope to start your career at.

If you can’t afford a brand new wardrobe just for work, you’re not alone. It’s not the price tag that makes the difference when you’re dressing for the job you want; it’s the attention to detail, professionalism and lack of stains and wrinkles that says the most. These days, many of us who work in offices and companies around the country adopt a work “uniform.” Four or five different pieces that can be bought in bulk and worn to the office Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Dressing for the job you want can be as simple as picking out the most comfortable, yet professional outfit and sticking to things that can be mixed and matched with anything. In the end, don’t stress—just making an effort will make a difference! And an added benefit to dressing for the job you want is that extra boost of confidence a nice sweater can bring to an interview.

Categories: Career Planning
Tags: careers;

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