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How Improving Your Personal Presentation Can Help You Land Your Dream Job

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: August 13, 2015

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If you’re looking for ways to stand out from other job candidates, take a look at our infographic, with 7 helpful tips. However, we’re also looking deeper into each of these tips, with a series of blogs sharing our expert help and advice. This week, we’re focusing specifically on how your personal presentation can help to improve your job prospects.

How much do you think personal presentation affects your chances of getting a job? You may be surprised to hear that in a recent study by the Australian government, more than one out of ten employers said that Australian youths need to put more effort and care into their presentation.

At Open Colleges, we think missing out on a job opportunity because of your appearance is something that can be easily avoided. Whether you’re handing in your CV to reception, having an informal interview in a coffee shop, having a formal second interview, or just being shown around the offices, your personal presentation should always be in the front of your mind. That’s because what you wear is one of the first things that an interviewer may notice about you, so it’s important to create a good first impression.

Ten tips for improving your presentation

To help you stand out to a potential employer, take a look at our top 10 tips for improving your appearance from head-to-toe:

1. Clothing

Whether you’re handing in your CV, or attending an interview, make sure you wear appropriate office wear at all times. A general rule is work dresses or a trouser suit for women and a smart suit, shirt and tie for men.

2. Jewellery

Keep jewellery to a minimum where possible. Wear a conservative watch for example, but don’t wear too much jewellery or it could come across as flashy.

3. Piercings

Whether you decide to cover your piercings should depend on the industry you’re hoping to work in. However, don’t forget that piercings can also become a distraction for the interviewer. Just think, do you want them staring at your nose ring, or focusing on all the interesting experience you have to talk about?

4. Shoes

Polishing your shoes is a must when you are preparing for your interview. It not only improves your overall appearance, but also shows that you understand the importance of focusing on the smaller details too.

5. Other accessories

If you wear a belt, make sure it matches your shoes. If you bring a briefcase or document holder, make sure it is clean and in good condition.

6. Tattoos

Tattoos are much more accepted in the workplace than they once were, however it is important to bear in mind that some workplaces might not want you to show off your ink. In more conservative industries such as Accounting, it may be a good idea to cover up any tattoos during the interview stage. If your ink is on your arms, wear a long sleeved shirt.

7. Ironed Clothes

You wouldn’t turn up to work with a wrinkled shirt and so don’t turn up to a prospective employer's with one either. Iron your clothes before your interview and keep them carefully hung up until you need to wear them.

8. Hair

Get a haircut before your interview and make sure it is clean and tidy. Double check in a mirror before you go in, so you don’t turn up with a windswept look! For women, if you have long hair, consider tying it up as this will keep it out of your face and prevent you from fiddling with it during your interview. For men, it is also conventional to have a clean shaven face. Some companies can be very conservative, with strict guidelines and so it will be important for you to fit within their image. Not all companies have such rigid dress codes, but it's best to play it safe.

9. Makeup

When it comes to makeup, less is more. Keep your makeup quite neutral, such as beige eye shadow, but nothing too overpowering such as bright red lipstick, or too much blusher.

10. Nails

For both men and women, make sure you have clipped and clean nails. For women, if you do decide to paint them, keep to pale and neutral colours. You don’t want to distract the interviewer with crazy colours and patterns.

If you get offered a job, congratulations! But it doesn’t end there. Make sure you apply these same rules when deciding on what to wear to work each day!


Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabethis an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant based in the south of England. She works with a growing number of clients all around the world, showing businesses how to use social media more effectively and helping them to get the maximum benefit from it.

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