First impressions are crucial. In the business world, they can make a world of difference in getting a promotion or being the perfect candidate in a job interview. In this post, we’ll highlight a few aspects — from good oral health to dressing for the job you want — that impact your career prospects.
Many different factors influence how successful your career is. Some are out of your hands, whereas others — like how you carry yourself as a professional — are entirely up to you. Granted, this is somewhat of a broad statement, but the reality is there are many things to consider when it comes to how other people perceive you.
Below we’ll discuss a few aspects of your appearance and self-maintenance that may be harming your career.
Dressing for the Job You Want
In the digital age, a large percentage of people opt for a freelance career and many SMEs and startups take a casual and less corporate approach to business. It’s safe to say that the stereotypical work clothes of a professional have changed. But, as a general rule of thumb, try aiming to dress slightly smarter than the employees of the business you want to join.
If the job you’re applying for is at a bespoke company where professional clothing is mandatory, your choice of interview attire is a no-brainer. For men, this could be a suit, shirt and tie, or a smart sweater. For women, it depends on your own style — some will prefer a dress whereas others feel more comfortable in a suit.
If the interview is with a startup, small business, or even a large organisation that prefers their employees to wear business-casual clothing, you have more options and room to incorporate some unique fashion choices. Tread lightly with this, as bright colours and flashy items can be distracting. If you want someone to focus on your attributes and skills as an industry professional, a flashy outfit isn’t helpful.
Good Oral Health
Although your physical appearance shouldn’t be a contributing factor when it comes to your career, good oral health and hygiene should be maintained with the correct care and attention. In an age where high-quality dentists and products are available to keep our teeth in good condition, failing to do so can project a lack of discipline or laziness.
Not to mention that damaged or decayed teeth is unsightly for customers and colleagues. If you happen to have an infection it can cause serious health problems and produce fierce bad breath. The latter is especially troublesome for your colleagues and genuinely impacts your success during interviews. Being memorable as the applicant with bad breath isn’t ideal when you want to be remembered for what you bring to their company.
If you’re someone who has missing teeth — whether removed by a dentist, knocked out, or fell out due to decay — there are several solutions that can return your smile to its former glory. If you’re looking for a long-term solution then your best bet is dental implants. This is where a metal root is fused with your jawbone and a prosthetic tooth is attached to the top. If you are self-conscious or suffer from a lack of confidence because of dental health, finding a solution that suits your needs and budget should be a top priority.
Don’t Neglect Personal Hygiene
Maintaining a good level of personal hygiene is not only important to stay healthy, but neglecting to do so demonstrates a lack of discipline and disregard for those around you. Being a bit smelly isn’t an acceptable reason for your employer to dismiss you, but it can significantly impact several aspects of your daily work life.
The importance of good personal hygiene during an interview cannot be stressed enough. There is a vast range of things that can impact your hygiene so it’s crucial to keep it under control. Whether you’re rushing to catch the tube and start to sweat, wake up late and don’t have time to shower or forget to clean the dirt from underneath your fingernails — your interviewer will notice and unfortunately, it will influence their opinion of you.
Everything about your appearance and hygiene gives an interviewer insight on how you perform at work and how well you’re prepared — choose an appropriate outfit, brush your teeth, and don’t forget to use deodorant.