Maybe you think this isn’t a good time to job hunt? Conventional wisdom suggests everyone is too busy delving into the holiday season to focus on identifying and securing new candidates. Regardless, you want to look and feel your best.
I’ll tell you I know hiring managers and recruiters who made offers on Christmas Eve! Whether or not you believe now is a great time to land a job, with parties practically every weekend, there’s no doubt it is an opportune time to take advantage of networking. Parties and informal gatherings offer numerous chances to meet new people, and you may benefit from people feeling upbeat and generous at this time of the year.
It’s a good idea to prepare in advance so you will look and feel your best during this busy time of the year. Have you considered giving yourself the gift of an image update? Diana Jennings, president of California-based Brand You Image and a leader within the image profession works with professionals to teach them how to increase their visual influence. “By giving your image and the visual representation of your brand a boost, you’ll bring positive attention to yourself, while potentially making valuable contacts,” she says. Jennings reminds professionals not to lose sight of the fact that a networking event can actually be an informal interview.
As an image and personal branding consultant, Jennings explains looking your best is “Not just what you wear, but it’s how you wear it. When your image is working for you, your clothing will be authentic and appropriate for your desired role and the occasion. Your outfit will also be aligned with your goals and reflect your values and personality. What you wear will compliment your body shape and your lifestyle.”
Appearance is a very personal subject. “No one’s actual work depends on their image,” she says. “However, as a professional it is important for your appearance to represent the quality of your work, product, or service. Some people will interpret a lack of effort in your personal presentation as a lack of effort in other areas of your life.”
Job seekers should not consider a visual makeover a one-time, or seasonal thing. Jennings stresses how important it is to consider your brand and image identity in the larger context of how you hope to be perceived.
Jennings offers the following guidelines to keep in mind when planning what you wear:
Dress for the position you aspire to have.
Be realistic and honest about what fits your body and what doesn’t.
Rule of one. Described in the upcoming book of the same name by Judith Rasband, president and CEO of Conselle Institute of Image Management, this rule refers to the fact that the most harmonious outfits will have one dominant element and everything else will be subordinate.
Select several investment pieces.
Wristwatches do more than tell time.
I wrote an ebook to help job seekers approach holiday opportunities. It’s free! Click here to subscribe and receive a free ebook.
Read the full post on my U.S. News & World Report post.
photo by Anders Adermark