Some say that first impressions last. This is particularly true during job interviews. With stiff competition from a very dense job market, a bad first impression could easily ruin your chances of being hired.

 

This is the reason why good grooming is very important. The moment you step in the room and before you answer any question, your appearance is already under scrutiny. Be sure that your job attire is appropriate, to prevent employers from passing negative judgment before you even get to speak.

 

What to avoid

 

Avoid overdone hair. Putting too much emphasis on your hair may give the impression that you’re a “high-maintenance” prima donna type of a person. What you want is to look neat and decent, and never out-of-touch.

 

Applicants must also avoid looking rugged. Be sure to always wash your face and look fresh. Facial hair may be acceptable as long as you don’t come across looking dirty, but a clean shave is usually the safest bet. Women are advised to wear make-up and avoid looking pale. However, wearing too much make-up could also give the wrong impression. Your goal is to look vibrant, not artificial.

 

Avoid being overdressed or underdressed. The appropriate job-interview clothes vary, depending on the type of work. Be sure that your clothes match what employers expect you to wear. In addition, make sure that your clothes are not wrinkled or stained.

 

Avoid bright, glittered or black colors for your nail polish. Neutral colors are the safe and appropriate bet for the workplace.

Women wearing open-toe shoes must never forget to have a pedicure. Men, on the other hand, must wear shoes that are polished and neat.

 

Avoid too much cologne or perfume. Strong scents may cause an allergic reaction in some people. If it turns out to be the one interviewing you, you can forget about being hired. Use scented products sparingly. Never use it to advertise yourself from a mile away.

 

Finally, be sure to avoid bad breath. Brush your teeth before going to an interview. You should have mints or other breath freshener products on hand.

 

Social Networking and the Workplace

 

Social networking sites are very common these days. But social networking sites have been the center of controversy in the workplace. Just ask the people who were fired because of the content they published.

 

Social networking is still subject to the same rules of workplace ethics. It’s difficult enough to protect your job during trying economic times. Don’t sabotage your career with the careless use of social media accounts. Here are some important reminders to consider:

 

Observe a respectful distance with your boss – Some workers try to improve their rapport by sending friend requests to their boss. Unfortunately, a recent survey suggests that more than half of executives feel uncomfortable receiving friend requests from people they manage. The reason for this is that some bosses try to keep a respectable distance, to establish a sense of authority. To be sure, avoid sending your boss any friend request. The only time you can add your boss as a friend in social networking is when (or if) your boss sends you the friend request.

 

Think before you post – Sharing events that transpired in your office and gossiping or complaining about your boss using your social media accounts are sure ways to lose your job. If you have had a bad day in the office, just cool off and keep office matters in the office.

 

Protect your professional image – Social networking sites provide privacy settings that will allow you to show content only to selected friends. However, you still need to be careful with the content you publish. Anything can directly affect your professional image. Pictures of you drunk during the holidays can have serious repercussions in the future.

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