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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dressing for Success

It is a certain fact that in today's society fashion has definitely taken on a new look and a new meaning as well. What was the definition of fashion intended to be? Well, I'm sure that it may be difficult to give a hard and fast definition to the term. It is used interchangeably as a noun, an adjective and a verb. Certainly this word"fashion" gets a heck of a work out within its own genre. Sometimes I (personally and based solely on my own preferences) like to associate fashion with the glamor of old Hollywood, or have it associated with specific women who have been known to set trends and standards based on their own individual good taste.

Glamor in and of itself is not necessarily good fashion; but mind you I'm no expert. I love glamor, and I love glitz, but all in tasteful appropriateness. On the other hand, I am a fan of a contemporary references such as "trendy", "shabby chic" and "business casual" and its sister term "business elegant". What in the world does all this mean? In a nutshell, as an unauthorized "Fashionista" (another modern day coined phrase meant to describe a female expert on coordinating and wearing the latest designer apparel on the market bought at well-known stores and scored at bargain prices), I can say that one term means the latest designs such as club wear or party wear. The next one can refer to anything from Bohemian to vintage and while business casual raises images of khaki slacks and oxford or polo type shirts, business elegant should speak for itself.

Alright, now that we have a working background knowledge of what can be inferred to when discussing fashion, lets get to the point. And that point is that no matter how much fashion fads come and go, or what the current trends are, there is one thing that should  not fluctuate from the norm, and that is dressing for success. tarting with the first step and most important in getting any job; the interview. It is just plain bad fashion sense and common sense to show up for an interview for an Administrative Assistant position with a prominent well-known company wearing a tube top (even if its covered with a sweater or jacket) and a mini skirt, with five inch stiletto heels and enough jangling bracelets to signal Santa s sleigh in a snowstorm. And the prospective employer does not have to be a major company. It can be a neighborhood hardware store or a local doctor's office. The point is, never show up for any interview d for he dance floor than an office environment.

Next, lets talk about another type of interview; say for a Sales Associate job in a major sporting goods chain store. Well, the same thing applies here. Dress for success for the initial interview as well as any subsequent follow up ones, and let your employer inform you of any "dress down" allowances.  Cover up your cleavage. Baring some of it may get you a phone number from a guy at a bar, and you know what? It just might get you a job; but do you really want to work for some one who hired you because you gave a peek? Can you even imagine the problems that could lead to?

What you want to avoid are 1.) See through blouses 2.) skirts that stop 2" above the knee 3.) Shorts or Capri pants 4.) Tube or tank tops, or tops that show cleavage...period.  5.) Any clothing that is too tight or shows your underwear 6.) Sneakers, flip flops or a dress shoe that is open like a sandal. 7.) T-shirts, and tops with any type of logos printed on them. 8.) No lounge wear or sweat pants.  Now you might not think it was necessary to add in that one, but hey; if some people will wear lounge wear/ pajama bottoms to Wal-Mart, who knows where else they would do it?

Accessories should include minimal jewelry that is "silent". No chandelier earrings or hoops that you can fit your fist through, or multi-chain necklaces. Makeup should also be enhancing in a minimalistic way, and no electric or neon colors on eyes or lips. Remember, you only get one time to make a first impression, and most managers will size you up and make up their minds about you in a hurry and lots of times its "love at first sight" for them. Don't overdo the fragrances you wear whether it be lotion or cologne. There are a lot of people who are allergic to cologne and you definitely don't want a future manager sneezing the moment you sit down across from her/him.

Last thing I want to say is check your English. And by that I do mean "speak English!" Not some urban or abbreviated form of it, but the English language as spoken in America. Please don't go into an office for an interview and substitute or shorten the words to resemble grunts when you talk. Save your ultra coolness for later when you are out celebrating your new job with your friends. Better yet, just stop doing it altogether. Get in the habit of enunciating your words in the proper way (which includes not using fake accents either).

Carry your resume, business/ calling cards and any relative papers in a neat and business like portfolio, or even in a shoulder bag.  If you car personal items then carry a small shoulder bag on your left shoulder. You want to have your right hand free to shake hands without fumbling. If part of your portfolio is on your lap top, then use your lap top bag to hold any other papers you may need. Have them organized and ready for presentation with minimal fuss when it comes time to present them. Practice with family and friends how you are going to do what needs to be done, and do it enough times that you are comfortable.

We wish you the very best of success in your interviews, and in pursuit of work  whether its an entry level position, temporary work or your dream job. Envision yourself as a success and you will be a success. If you want to be a VP, then dress in a business suit as if you were one. If you see yourself as a Director, or Department Manager, then by all means present yourself in dress, in speech and in attitude as if your name is already on the door.

All Our Best to You!

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