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Seeking work? Dress the part

The other evening, my wife and I stopped at a fast-food restaurant. As we were walking to a table, we noticed a young man sitting in the corner filling out an employment application. He had a pair of white-rimmed sunglasses perched on his head, was wearing a Hollister T-shirt, faded jeans and sneakers. As he walked by our table to meet the manager for an interview, one could not help but notice his three-to-four-day scruff, the spike through his left eye brow and the heavy silver earring in his left ear.

My whisper to my wife was, "What is he thinking?" Her reply was, "The best gift the manager could give him is a rejection — then, tell him why!"

Understand, neither of us has issues with white-rimmed sunglasses at night, three-day-old scruffs or piercings (provided it's someone else's skin that is pierced!). What we do have issues with is "first impressisons" and getting hired in a slow economy, and since this is a food service business, customers' issues. Put one customer off and you could lose several customers forever.

He should have done some simple homework. Every crew member in that restaurant wore clean, pressed khaki pants and a neat long-sleeved button-down collar shirt in either white, light blue or yellow.

If the job seeker wanted to make a favorable first impression, he would have left the sunglasses in the car, shaved, put the body jewelry in his pocket and come dressed similarly to what is obviously the required dress code for the business. He may have been freshly scrubbed, but he didn't look clean and I wouldn't want him to serve me a hamburger anywhere. Make an effort and use some common sense.

If the manager liked his resume and interview, it would have been a service to the job seeker to ask him to come back in the morning prepared to make a favorable impression

And, if he cleaned up his act, hire him!

This message also goes out to all job seekers who go around to retail stores to fill out applications, thinking that the interview comes next. People see you in your cutoff jeans and flip-flops and remember how you looked.

If you want to get hired, get dressed for business!

Marvin Walberg is a job search coach.

Seeking work? Dress the part 08/10/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 10, 2009 4:35pm]
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