Whether you’re a new grad, rebounding from a recent layoff or returning to the workforce post-maternity leave, the job market is tougher now than ever thanks to the recession. Competition is fierce and you may think you have everything in order, but if a row of failed interviews has you wondering what you’re missing, consider this: did you ever think it might be your shoes?
You only have a matter of seconds to make a good first impression, and in today’s job market how you present yourself matters more than ever. In a recruiter’s eyes, dressing for success really does mean something. To help you make the right choices the next time around, here is a list of the top 10 most common wardrobe blunders.
Too Much Skin
You probably know well enough not to wear a tube top or short-shorts to an interview, but you should also be wary of too short skirts, low rise pants, too much cleavage, and going sleeveless. Think business casual. Even sheer fabrics can give the wrong impression.
No matter how relaxed you think the office or job is, never show up to an interview wearing casual clothing. It makes you look like you don’t care and you’re not serious about the position. Think twice before you reach for that logo t-shirt, sandals, jeans, or any kind of active wear.
They say accessories make the outfit but a few key pieces are all you really need. Stay away from multiple earrings, rings and bracelets. You need to reduce the jingle jangle at an interview – it can be very annoying and very distracting. And don’t forget the ankle bracelets, body piercings, and nail art.
Stay away from fabrics that have gone shiny from too much wear or anything with frayed edges. Worn out, tired clothing makes people look wear and haggard, with no vitality.
Cheap fabrics will always make you look cheap, so avoid khaki and other fabrics that wrinkle easily and don’t hold their shape.
When it comes to first impressions, shoes really make the man, or woman. Many people will spend the money on the outfit but forget that their shoes have run down heels or scuff. And as for the inevitable question of “to open toe or not to open-toe,” generally speaking, stick to a closed-toe shoe like a nice sling-back or a pump with a conservative heel.
Clothes that fit right will make you look taller, slimmer, and more polished. Tight clothes give the impression that you’re preoccupied with yourself and your body, and baggy clothes make you like you’re either hiding or you’re sloppy.
Don’t let your obsession with fashion trends take over your interview. Following extreme fads, flattering or not, make you look like you have no authentic self. It shows that you really see yourself in terms of the fashion rather than the person wearing it.
Bulges and bumps and the dreaded visual panty line all indicate that you have no real attention to detail. Now’s the time to have a proper bra fitting and choose some discreet, seamless undergarments.
You may think your hair bows and girly prints are just a part of who you are, but the truth is too frilly, whimsical clothing won’t get you the job.