I never realized the importance of “looks” when trying to find a job. I admit that I am not a very keen dresser, and I never know what I am supposed to wear for formal events. My mom would usually pick out my outfit because she enjoyed doing it. Before going to the Dress for Success Workshop, I had no understanding of how to look professional. At the beginning of the workshop, I was shocked by the stats the woman presented. She said that 55% of perception is based on appearance, and 65% of managers say that they hire based on looks. This immediately drew me into the workshop because I wondered how I could improve my appearance simply with clothing.
The woman started the workshop giving us ideas of what clothing to start investing in. She told us to first invest in a dark color suit, such as black, navy or brown. After getting a suit, we should start shopping for “fillers,” meaning shirts and belts. In addition, it is recommended to buy a steamer, because we should only wear clothing that appears to be in “like new” condition. She understood that these clothes are expensive, especially for a college student, so she encouraged us to look out for sales. A company that I would recommend that offered me very reasonable prices was Jos A Bank®.
I knew that I needed to buy professional clothing, but she also provided us with small tips to improve our appearance. For instance, I never knew that my tie was supposed to reach the top of my belt buckle. Also, I learned that my socks should be mid-calf and should match the color of my shoes and pants. Ever more precise, she told us to remove the sewn labels from out jackets and untuck the pockets of our pants. Shoes should also match our belts and she recommended to wear either half break or full break pants at the bottom. Without going to this workshop, I could have never guessed these subtle details that employers may pay attention to.
Another important topic that she discussed was personal hygiene and physical appearance. She really stressed the importance of clean nails, brushed teeth, and not too much cologne. Also, when preparing for interviews she said that men should shave and keep our hair back and out of our faces. My dad recently told me a story of how he brought my cousin, a graduate business student at Indiana University, into his office to meet some of his clients. My cousin was unshaven, had bad breath and lacked a professional attitude. My dad’s clients were immediately unimpressed with my cousin despite being a very good business student. My dad was forced to sit him down in his office and teach him how to look professional. I am very glad that Villanova offered this workshop and did not allow me to face the fate of my cousin.