As much as we want to believe that the job market is fair, we also know that it isn’t. Though there are policies and laws in place to police against abuse, harassment, and discrimination, that don’t stop companies from preferring people who look good. A number of researches found out, for example, that overweight women have less prestigious job opportunities. This doesn’t seem to affect men that much.
It’s not just your looks per se, but also the way you carry yourself. Even in the most casual of settings, for example, you should strive to dress as professionally as possible. Sure, your company allows its employees to wear shirts and jeans. But instead of wearing such a casual get-up, why don’t you wear jeans with a polo shirt or a dressy blouse? Instead of wearing flip-flops to your “casual” job, why not wear a pair of sandals? These details will have such a huge impact on the way you look; so much, in fact, that clients will consider you to be more professional than your flip-flop-wearing colleague.
How Much Effort Should You Put into Looking Good?
People understand that they need to look good, whether for professional or personal reasons. In fact, some of them even go under the knife for a minor or major cosmetic procedure to correct what they see as physical flaws. People support popular cosmetic procedures such as rhinoplasty and liposuction because they believe they will look better by enhancing or changing their looks.
Women are into lip injections, too. Although it’s supposedly a temporary change, many feel more confident with themselves if they have lips like Angelina Jolie’s. Even celebrities and models undergo this change to get that perfect pout. Aging career women want fuller lips because they make them look younger. It also erases the lines of the lips, giving them that smooth and supple look.
Aside from focusing on your looks, you also need to dress appropriately for work. The way you look can affect how clients see you and communicate with you. It also speaks a lot about the company. The image of the company can suffer because of its workers’ sloppy dressing. That’s the reason why some companies prefer to have uniforms and impose grooming standards on their employees. This is to manage the overall image of the business.
During the Hiring Process
It is during the hiring process that candidates will be in for the most challenge. Does your appearance matter when you are applying for a job? Studies said that yes, it does. In women, the perception of hiring managers is that those who wear makeup are more confident and up for the heaviness of the job. Women who wear no or less makeup are less likely to receive a job offer.
In some ways, the same standards apply to men who apply for jobs. Men who wear suits are more likely to get the job than those who wear casual clothing. The thinking is that men who prepared for the interview are more likely to prepare for their tasks, too.
While on the Job
Once you start meeting clients, it’s very important to take care of your physical appearance. You are the representative of the company. The clients perceive the legitimacy and reputation of the company based on how you look when you face them. For example, young employees who do not look professional will worry older clients who are so used to seeing and dealing with more professional-looking employees of the company.
If you are tasked to meet clients, ask around the company for their sense of styles and personalities. Try to match their appearance with your own. If you see that your appearance is different from them during the meeting, work extra hard to convince them of your abilities and skills.
Experts said that people should always dress for the job that they want and not for the job they have. If you are eyeing a managerial position in your workplace, look the part of a manager. Studies suggest that the way you look and carry yourself will affect your chances of promotion. Your bosses and colleagues will take a greater interest in you if you’re always dressed to kill.
It is not ideal that your appearance dictates your hireability and promotability. In any case, your skills, talents, and capabilities should be the only ones that matter to a prospective employer. But in the real world, your physical appearance is a telling factor to why employers will offer you a job contract and why your present bosses will want to promote you.