Men's Articles

Loved At First Sight

Imagine yourself as a manager who is about to interview a candidate for a job. Candidate A comes in a smart shirt and tie, and you notice that his nails are clean and that he has had a new haircut. Candidate B shows up in khakis and a casual shirt, and chews gum. Given that both are similarly qualified, whom would you choose?

First impressions do matter, whether you are going for a job interview or arriving for your first day of work. Right or wrong, it is human nature to form a snapshot opinion about someone based on the initial visual appraisal. If you believe in love at first sight, you can certainly count on being rejected at first sight, too.

It helps enormously if your general appearance conveys the right message. Even if it is your first job, it pays to look successful, competent and confident, or at least fake it till you make it. The idea is to project your future self instead of the young and inexperienced colt that you are. Dressing well works wonders in boosting your image and branding yourself. If nothing else people will remember you as someone who looked professional and capable.

A well-turned out person is simply easier to recall. What does your image say to the world? The first impression you make is your advertisement about who you are and what you are about. Keep this in mind:

  • Dress professionally, not fashionably. A jacket that looks good and feels right is always a good buy. Keep to neutrals; leave bright complementary colors for highlights, such as blouses for women or ties for men.
  • Do use deodorant or antiperspirant, not perfume or aftershave. Your choice of fragrance may not sit well with the interviewer.
  • Do not wear anything that dangles or that you might fidget with, as it can distract the interviewer from what you are saying,
  • Make sure your eyebrows are visible and not hiding underneath your hair, or you will appear less confident.
  • Footwear is particularly telling. Look at your shoes right now. Detach yourself and ask, "What kind of person wears shoes like that?" Scruffy shoes show a lack of care and attention, and this can be interpreted as the attitude you may bring to the job. The same can be said about other aspects of personal grooming.

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