You've heard me say "Perception is Reality" more than once. Here I go again. This time, it has to do with the clothes you wear during your job search.
It is really remarkable how good it can feel when you wear the right clothes. You know that feeling, right? There is an air of confidence. A spring in your step. Am I going overboard? There have been studies that provide evidence that when you dress up you perform better (or at least feel better about yourself).
Now is the time to invest in a new interviewing suit. Yep, I said it. Go splurge and buy a suit that makes you look and feel terrific. If you don't trust your instincts, bring a friend along or consult with a store clerk.
While you are at it, buy a pair of shoes to go with the suit. Toss those old grubby and unpolish-able shoes that no longer say "sharp".
When I was delivering a workshop to a group of teachers who were being laid off, I told them not to dress like teachers during the interview. As I recall, I think I told them to leave their sweaters and comfortable shoes at home. "Don't dress frumpy" may have been my exact words.
The reason I am writing this is because professionals, those who have been in the workforce for a considerable number of years are asking the question…"What should I wear?" Amazing, but true.
For more concrete guidelines on what to wear, please see "If you want to be successful, dress the part" by Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW. While you are at it, follow Erin on Twitter @Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW
Dressing the part isn't just for interviews. It also applies every time you leave your house to meet with people- coffee, networking events, career fairs, workshops, seminars, meet-ups. Look the part of the professional you want to be perceived as.
Of course, you could say, why bother dressing up for a workshop. My thought is, what harm does it do? It gives you an excuse to wear that super suit when you haven't had an interview in awhile! (Just kidding).
You could also say, I am just looking for an "X" job which doesn't require I wear a suit. However, if you do wear a suit, won't you be the most memorable candidate?
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.