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                                                                                                                                                                                     A job applicant’s dress and grooming can be important —
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                                                                                                                                                                                     and sometimes even critical — factors in an employer’s
                                                                                                                                                                                     hiring decision.

                                                                                                                                                                                     To many employers, first impressions still count. Poor per-
                                                                                                                                                                                     sonal appearance and careless dress at an interview are
                                                                                                                                                                                     major factors leading to the rejection of applicants.
                                                                                                                                                                                     In fact, in one major survey:           employer may assume you are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             careless about other things. He or
                                                                                                                                                                                        • 95% of the employers inter-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             she may think you lack initiative,
                                                                                                                                                                                          viewed said a jobseeker’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             may need close supervision, and
                                                                                                                                                                                          personal appearance affected
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             may not be a good employee.
                                                                                                                                                                                          the employer’s opinion of that
                                                                                                                                                                                          applicant’s suitability for the    Dress to project the image you
                                                                                                                                                                                          job.                               want the employer to receive. If a
                                                                                                                                                                                        • 91% said they believed dress       position required maturity, don’t
                                                                                                                                                                                          and grooming reflected the         dress like a college student going to
                                                                                                                                                                                          applicant’s attitude towards       class. Let your clothing reflect your
                                                                                                                                                                                          the company.                       knowledge of the type of job for
                                                                                                                                                                                        • 61% said dress and grooming        which you are applying.
Publications on related topics
                                                                                                                                                                                          had an effect on subsequent
JOB SEARCH __________________                                                                                                                                                                                                Your appearance may also affect
Tips on Finding Summer Jobs                                                                                                                                                               promotions as well.
(DWSJ-5641-P)                                                                                                                                                                                                                how you feel about yourself. Know-
(DWSJ-9455-P)                                                                                                                                                                        Thus, whether you’re preparing for      ing that your appearance is good
Where to Look for Job Opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                     job interviews or concerned about       may give you added confidence in
INTERVIEWING _________________                                                                                                                                                       job advancement, it’s worth a few       yourself — and self-confidence is
Keys to Successful Interviewing
                                                                                                                                                                                     minutes of your time now to think       essential if you are going to make a
Hidden Elements of Interviewing
                                                                                                                                                                                     about what your appearance tells        good first impression.
Informational Interviewing                                                                                                                                                           an employer about you.
(DWSJ-9407-P)                                                                                                                                                                                                                Appropriate Dress
Personal Data Record
                                                                                                                                                                                     First Impressions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Employers may judge your appear-
Thoughts on Resumes
                                                                                                                                                                                     Before you get a job, your job is to    ance as a reflection of your total
Resume Writing– A Basic Guide                                                                                                                                                        impress employers enough so that        personality, but also in relation to
                                                                                                                                                                                     they will hire you. The first impres-   the type of work you will be doing.
                                                                                                                                                                                     sion you will make on an employer       There are various standards of
                                                                                                                                                                                     may be based on your appearance.        dress, each valid for different kinds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             of jobs.
DWSJ-4814-P (R. 07/2003)                                                                                                                                                             If you appear for an interview
                                                                                                                                                                                     carelessly-groomed, a potential

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For instance, employers hiring workers to unload                                              One final tip: Many em-
box cars, or work in a factory, may not want to                                               ployers seem to regard a
hire the person who looks “too dressed up.”                                                   neat and clean appear-
                                                                                              ance as being at least as
On the other hand, don’t wear overalls or blue
                                                                                              important as the type of
jeans if you are applying for an office or sales
                                                                                              clothes worn.
position. You may be giving the impression that
you really want a laboring job.                                                               Grooming tips
(Jeans, in fact, appear to be regarded by many                                                Here is a grooming check
employers as unacceptable for job interviews,                                                 list to use before job
period! Other unacceptable factors listed in one                                              interviews:
survey included open-necked shirts or open or                                                      • Hair should be neatly
low necklines, a “no bra” look, and tennis shoes                                                     combed, or properly
or sandals.)                                                                                         arranged.
                                                                                                   • Be clean-shaven or trimmed,
Prior to your interview, you probably will be
                                                                                                     or use fresh make-up.
learning about the company for which you hope
                                                                                                   • Teeth should be brushed, breath
to work. This is a good time to get an idea of the
appropriate dress there. If you dress as other
                                                                                                   • Wear clean clothing.
employees do, you will give the interviewer the
                                                                                                   • Clothes should be pressed and neat-
impression you likely will “fit in.”
If you apply for a job with a company where the                                                    • Shoes should be shined.
employees wear suits or dresses and you dress                                                      • Face, hands and fingernails should be
casually for your interview, your chances of                                                         clean.
obtaining the job probably will be diminished —
regardless of your qualifications.                                                            Once the Job is Yours ...
                                                                                              Don’t forget about your grooming once you’ve
In a few situations, casual dress is standard and                                             been hired.
may even be desirable. But in these instances,
dressing too casually should be avoided.                                                      Despite an apparent trend towards more free-
                                                                                              dom of expression in dress in today’s society,
There are no hard-and-fast rules to guide you as                                              many employers have kept dress codes.
to the most appropriate way to dress, but you
ought to consider the following advice.                                                       As soon as you’ve been hired, find out whether
                                                                                              your employer has a dress code. Some codes
When dressing for an interview, it usually is best                                            are written out, but others are “just understood.”
to dress conservatively. If you wear loud colors                                              Your dress and grooming also may affect the
or faddish clothes, the interviewer may remem-                                                initial friendships you form on your new job.
ber your clothes, but not your name or qualifica-
tions. This is an unnecessary obstacle to getting                                             Dress extremes may attract some people, but
the job you want. Common sense and simple                                                     turn others off.
good taste are the best guidelines to follow.                                                 And while it appears that dress and grooming
                                                                                              rarely are the major factors involved when
It may be a good idea to have more than one                                                   workers are fired, 1 out of 5 employers in one
outfit for interviews. If you have more than one,                                             survey said that both has at least some impact
you will not have to worry in case of a spill or a                                            on firing decisions.
rip. Also some employers may want to interview
you more than once and you may not want to                                                    All in all, dress and grooming are important to
wear the same outfit each time.                                                               most employers, whether they are looking at job
                                                                                              applications or current employees.

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