You are in a job search. You have what you need such as a résumé, cover letter and network. Your résumé and cover letter have been gone over with a fine tooth comb by professionals and are flawless. You have 500+ people in your LinkedIn network. But you don’t seem to be getting anywhere and you wonder why.
But have you looked at yourself the way others see you? When you look in the mirror, you see you. Staring back at you is an experienced, skilled job searcher. However, hidden from your eyes are things others see that prevent them from promoting you to others.
With the help of a close friend whose opinion you trust, take a good look at yourself and ask these questions:
Are they appropriate for your age and body type? Too many people try to dress in styles that are popular to a younger age group. There are many body types and not all clothing flatters every body style.
Do they fit properly? When people are stressed, they either lose weight or gain weight. Your job search is frustrating, and your response shows in your clothing.
Are they clean, pressed and in good condition? Stained and wrinkled clothing isn’t appealing to anyone. Clothing that is ripped, has holes, and drags on the floor isn’t any more appealing.
Do they smell fresh or do they smell like stale smoke, cooking and pet odors? This is undeniably one to ask someone else. You have become used to the smells in your home and have become desensitized to the odors in your clothing.
Are they free of pet fur? If you are a pet owner, you realize that pet fur is a fact of life. But pet hair isn’t attractive on your clothing.
Are your shoes polished and in good condition? Polishing your shoes makes them look clean. However, shoes with heals that are worn down or separated from the sole can’t be made to look good unless they are repaired.
How long have you been wearing this style? If you have worn your hair the same as your graduation photo in your mother’s living room, chances are you are due for an update.
When was the last time you had a haircut? Hair grows quickly and soon becomes shaggy and loses it shape.
If you color your hair, is the color a natural hair color and are the roots showing? Green maybe your favorite color, but as a hair color it’s distracting. Dark or gray roots, especially if they show a few inches, don’t do you any favors.
Do you have dandruff? White flakes on your dark-colored clothing aren’t attractive.
Are your fingernails dirty, bitten, or too long? Your nails send a message about you and your personal hygiene. Neatly groomed nails say you are tidy, clean, and care about your appearance.
Do you wash regularly and often? We live in a culture that values regular and frequent bathing. Body odors are unpleasant and not tolerated.
Are your teeth and gums healthy? Healthy teeth and gums don’t have an odor when brushed properly and regularly.
Do you use too much fragrance? You know when some people are nearby or have been around because their nose precedes them and/or lingers long after they are gone. Not everyone likes your scent, and many are sensitive to scents.
Your appearance speaks volumes about your attitude, personality and your work ethic. You may not agree, but that is the message you are sending out. If you want others to recommend you, look professional, reliable, well-adjusted, and confident. And if you dress that you way, you will feel that way.