Dressing for Success

 

The following article was posted in the May 22 issue of The Week:

It turns out the familiar phrase “dress for success” may be more than just a cliché.  Many modern companies promote creativity and “out of the box” thinking with casual work environments, but new research suggests more formal dress codes would actually produce better results. Sacrificing the comfort of T-shirts and jeans in favor of suits, dresses, and other formal attire could improve people’s ability to think abstractly and focus more on the “big picture” than on details and more immediate work problems.

In a series of experiments, college-age men and women were asked to rate the formality of their outfits and complete tests designed to assess their style of thinking.  Those wearing suits and dresses showed signs of broader, more holistic thinking – a quality often attributed to leaders.  “Putting on formal clothes makes us feel powerful, and that changes the basic way we see the world, “ the study’s author, Abraham Rutchick, tells The Atlantic.com,  Scientists also suggest that formal clothing may boost people’s mood, helping them engage in high-level abstract thinking.

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Integrated Staffing can confirm that dressing for success is also important when job-hunting, as first impressions are critical.  Yes, you are judged by what you wear – as you see in media stories every day!  Unfortunately, not all job candidates give this enough consideration.

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

Just before walking in for the interview, give yourself a final check in the mirror, take a nice deep breath and walk in with confidence.  And, don’t forget that every day at work is another opportunity to impress.

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