Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dress for Success Career Books

First impressions are critical. In fact you are assessed within 15 seconds of your interview by your potential employer. Should you be judged by what you wear? Perhaps not, but the reality is, of course, that you are judged.

How should you dress?

Dressing conservatively is always the safest route, but you should also try and do a little investigating of your prospective employer so that what you wear to the interview makes you look as though you fit in with the organization. If you overdress (which is rare but can happen) or underdress (the more likely scenario), the potential employer may feel that you don't care enough about the job.

How do you find out what is the proper dress for a given company?

You can call the Human Resources office where you are interviewing and simply ask. Or, you could visit the company's office to retrieve an application or other company information and observe the attire current employees are wearing -- though make sure you are not there on a "casual day" and misinterpret the dress code.

Finally, do you need to run out and spend a lot of money on clothes for interviewing?

No, but you should make sure you have at least two professional sets of attire. You'll need more than that, but depending on your current financial condition, two is enough to get started and you can buy more once you have the job or have more financial resources

Hints for Dress for Success for Men and Women

Attention to details is crucial, so here are some tips for both men and women.
Make sure you have:
  • clean and polished conservative dress shoes
  • well-groomed hairstyle
  • cleaned and trimmed fingernails
  • minimal cologne or perfume
  • no visible body piercing beyond conservative ear piercings for women
  • well-brushed teeth and fresh breath
  • no gum, candy, or other objects in your mouth
  • minimal jewelry
  • no body odor

Finally, check your attire in the rest room just before your interview for a final check of your appearance -- to make sure your tie is straight, your hair is combed, etc.

Here are some books I would recommend

  1. Buff and Polish: A Practical Guide to Enhance Your Professional Image and Communication Style , by Kathyrn J. Volin (Pentagon).
  2. How to Gain the Professional Edge: Achieve the Personal and Professional Image You Want, by Susan Morem (Ferguson).
  3. New Women's Dress for Success, by John T. Molloy (Warner).
    Attention to Detail: A Woman's Guide to Professional Appearance and Conduct, by Clinton Greenleaf and Stefani Schaefer (Greenleaf Enterprises).
  4. Casual Power: How to Power Up Your Nonverbal Communication & Dress Down for Success, by Sherry Maysonave (Bright Books).
  5. First Five Minutes: How to Make a Great First Impression in Any Business Situation , by Mary Mitchell, with John Corr (Wiley).
  6. Looking Good: A Comprehensive Guide to Wardrobe Planning, Color & Personal Style Development, by Nancy Nix-Rice and Pati Palmer (Palmer Pletsch).
  7. Your Executive Image: The Art of Self-Packaging for Men and Women, by Victoria A. Seitz (Adams).

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