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Dress for SUCCESS

First impressions count, so it makes sense to be well dressed.


WE KNOW intuitively that the way one looks, meaning clothes and personal grooming, sets the tone for any interaction. Along with this, body language, facial expression and eye contact, all go towards creating the `first' impression.

First impressions do count. Whether you're preparing for a job interview or advancement in your present job, it's worth a few minutes of your time to think about your appearance. * 95 per cent of prospective employers said the personal appearance of a jobseeker affected the employer's opinion of that applicant's suitability for a job.

* 91 per cent said they believed dress and grooming reflected the applicant's attitude towards the company.

* 61 per cent said dress and grooming had an effect on subsequent promotions, as well.

So, how do you dress for success? Dressing for success does not mean donning the most fashionable outfits; it means choosing the appropriate look to suit the situation and occasion. Your dress should project the image you want the employer to see. Your appearance is judged as a reflection of your total personality, and also in relation to the type of work you will be doing. There are various standards of dress, each suitable for different kinds of jobs. Jeans, baseball caps, gym shoes, sandals, shorts, T-shirts, sleeveless tops and the ubiquitous backpacks are inappropriate.

Prior to your interview, while you learn about the company for which you hope to work, try and get an idea of corporate culture when it comes to dress code.

If you dress as the other employees do, you will give the interviewer the impression that you are likely to `fit in'. But a word of caution, especially if you find out that the look is `casual'. Don't ever make the mistake of looking too casual.

While there are no hard-and-fast rules to guide you regarding the most appropriate way to dress, consider the following:

When dressing, especially for an interview, it is best to do so conservatively. You will not offend anyone or ruin your chances by looking formal, but an informal look can definitely strike you off the list.

If you wear loud colours or clothes that are the fad now, you will probably be remembered for your clothes and not for your name or qualifications. Let common sense and good taste be the best guide to picking your outfit.

A well-pressed, lightly starched white shirt withwell-cut tailored trousers and an appropriate tie are all-time saviours.

For women, it gets a bit more complicated. They could opt for the Indian, Indo-western or Western look. But, whatever the look you choose, remember to tone down contrasting colours and huge floral prints and make sure you show as little skin as possible.

Universally, the more a woman exposes herself, the less credibility she enjoys as a professional!

Think of all the accessories you have on; less is more - minimal jewellery, no dangling earrings or jingling bracelets/anklets.

Finally: a neat and well-groomed appearance is as important as the type of clothes worn.

* Hair should be neatly combed and arranged.

* Be clean-shaven or keep your beard well trimmed.

* Use light make up.

* Do a body odour check.

* Clothes must be neatly pressed and without frayed ends, stains, safety pins, dangling threads, and loose buttons.

* Shoes should be shined.

* Hands and fingernails should be clean.

When you leave home and you are happy with the way you look, you face the world with confidence.

CHITRA DANGER

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