You have undoubtedly heard the expression “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. This is good advice, but leaves a lot of questions unanswered. The job you want might be at another company which has a different dress code. The job you want might have the same dress requirement as the job you have. You might not even know what job you want, much less how to dress for it. Plus the person currently in the job you want may be a terrible dresser!
The key question to ask is how to dress more professionally, so that you can get a promotion, or so that any job you express interest in will be open to you.
Here are five tips to attain more executive presence and help the promotion come along:
- Always include a collar; whether you are wearing a jacket with lapels, or a button-down collared dress shirt, the neckline is where people focus. A collar sets off your face and provides a level of professionalism regardless of what else you are wearing.
- Wear one bright color and one dark color. Black, navy, gray and brown are all terrific business-appropriate neutrals, but they need a bright accent like teal, fuchsia, yellow or chartreuse to set them off.
- Emphasis on grooming. Keeping your hair trimmed, nails filed, and makeup touched up provides more than a smile from your coworkers. In a study by the “American Economic Review”, it was determined that women who wear makeup earn up to 30% more than those who don’t.
- Your shoes are noticed by everyone except you. Even though we don’t usually look down at our feet, those we come in contact with will observe if our shoes are scuffed, damaged or out of style. Keep shoes current by visiting the shoemaker for polishing and minor repairs; style may be trickier to attain but buying name brands and wearing a small heel will help.
- Regardless of the level of dress in your office, make sure that your clothes fit properly. Sleeves to the wrist, slacks to the floor, and skirts to the knee are three areas that will make a difference.
If you follow these five tips consistently I promise you will not be passed over for a promotion because of your dress! Now about that project that was late…