At the beginning of a new year organising one’s life is right up there with weight loss. And, not much further down the list is finding a new job. There’s plenty of evidence to show that a high performing professional wardrobe helps to maintain an image for an existing job and also encourages getting a new one.
There’s no getting away from it- you are what you wear in the business world and if the business you are in is competitive, what you wear and how you wear it makes you stand out.
Clothing acts as a communicator, letting an interviewer know very quickly what matters to you. Victoria Seitz, author of Your Executive Image says that in job interviews 75% of the decision to hire is on the applicant’s appearance. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but what you wear and how you wear it matters.
So what are the guidelines for success ?
One of the first most important guidelines is to look at the successful people in the business you want to be in. Is the look suited and booted or more relaxed with jeans mixed in with something smarter ?
Take a good look at your existing wardrobe. Decide to ditch the items which no longer reflect who you are and where you want to be in your career- remember accessories too. Then have a look at the items you’ve kept and see what sort of condition they’re in. Have they got enough life in them to last another season?
Once you’ve sorted through each section of your wardrobe, look to see what you think is missing. It could be couple of tailored jackets or new shoes. A good hair cut and shoes in good condition are the most important aspects if you don’t want to change your complete wardrobe overnight.
With a new job in mind purchase a few new pieces to update your wardrobe.
Many business environments take the relaxed approach with jeans being acceptable work gear. If this is the case, look for a new cut of jean to update your look and never be content with old, lived-in jeans because that’s what they look like. Learn to put interesting pieces together with jeans to create a style that’s you which also fits into the business world you are entering.
Go through your casual weekend clothes. Even if you don’t choose to work out in your spare time- so exercise gear is not part of your wardrobe- think about what you wear at weekends for shopping or relaxing. Create a capsule wardrobe which reflects the new organised you. This motivational step could even motivate you to take up some exercise!