Finance Globe

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The Student's Guide to Job Hunting - Your Appearance

When looking for your first job, it’s important to project an image that shows you are responsible, mature, and hard-working. Appearance does matter. It's just a fact that people do judge you by how you take care of yourself.

Look at it from the prospective employer's view: A person who goes job hunting while looking like they just crawled out of bed isn't likely to put in much more effort once they've been hired. Your family and friends may like you no matter how you look, but at work you reflect the company that hires you.

In general, dress according to the standards held for the current employees of the company you’re applying with.

Students looking for an entry-level job aren’t expected to wear a suit to apply for a job or for the interview, unless the position you’re applying for requires you to wear a suit, such as for certain sales positions or for office positions.

Slacks or even nice, new jeans and a shirt may be perfectly fine for a young person to wear an interview for an entry-level job. Solids, stripes, or another type of work-appropriate print are good choices for your shirt.

Choose dressier shoes over sneakers, and be sure they are clean and in good condition. Loafers for the guys or flats for the ladies can be perfectly appropriate for an entry-level job.

Don't wear clothes with wrinkles, rips, or stains, no matter how relaxed the work environment is. Avoid wearing shirts with potentially offensive graphics such as skulls, crazy art, or statements that express your personal views. Now is not the time to show your rebellious side.

Ladies, don’t wear tops that are low-cut, skirts that are too short, or shoes that have too high of a heel unless you are applying for a job in the fashion industry. Extreme colors or lengths in your nails will give the wrong impression. Keep your make-up tasteful and your hair looking neat.

Guys, wear a belt and be sure your pants cover what they are supposed to cover. Shave or groom your facial hair. If you have long hair, put it back in a ponytail. Check that your nails are clean and trimmed.

For both guys and gals, be sure you smell good. Job hunting day is not the day to skip a shower. But watch the perfume, cologne, and aftershave. Don’t over do it, if you do it at all. If someone can smell you from several feet away, then you’ve used too much fragrance.

Facial piercings are generally not allowed at many type of workplaces. Other than earrings, take out visible piercings before the job hunt or interview. If you are hired, you can find out if your employer allows them when on the job.

Dress appropriately when going to fill out job applications even if you don't have an interview scheduled. If the hiring manager is on duty when you drop by, they may just interview you on-the-spot.

Even if you don't get interviewed immediately you can guarantee that the employee you gave your application to will give their first-impression opinion of you to the boss - which may influence the hiring manager's decision of whether or not to call you back.

Now, these recommendations are guidelines for the typical entry-level first job for a young adult. If you are applying for a job at a shop that specializes in exotic piercings or a shop that sells leather and stud clothing, then the hiring manager may not have a problem with you coming in with your spiked purple mohawk or wearing a studded leather dog collar.

But in general for most jobs, it’s best to present yourself as someone who can conform to the company’s appearance standards. If the company allows some creative expression in your appearance, they will tell you that once they hire you.

By showing that you care enough to present yourself in a positive way, you are communicating to your prospective employer that you’ll be good at presenting the company in a positive way, and increase your chance of landing that first job.

Good luck in your job hunt!
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Thursday, 30 March 2023

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