Body Language & Grooming

You have to take care of the important details that create your overall image – such as the way your dress, your grooming, your body language, including etiquette –  you may lose the ability to be in control of the message you want to convey to others and influence how you are perceived by them.

It only takes 5 seconds to form a first impression.  Your grooming habits, for example, speak volumes about you long before you even open your mouth to speak to someone.  A shabby and dowdy person may be perceived by others as careless, disorganized, uncaring and incompetent. A well-groomed person will appear to be more trusting, organized, caring and competent.

 Dress & Grooming for Job Success

Many of us object to being judged for employment based on how we look. We prefer to be hired because of our skills and abilities, not because of our dress and grooming. But like it or not, appearance is important.

Employers hire people they believe will “fit” into their organization. Skills, experience, and qualifications are important, but so are dress and grooming. Your appearance expresses motivation and professionalism. Dress as though you want the job, as though you already have the job.

 First Impressions

Most of us have heard the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Remember this when preparing to meet with a prospective employer. The picture you create will greatly influence your chances of being hired. Most employers form a first impression during the first seven seconds of a meeting. Your attitude and confidence level are all affected by the clothes you wear. When people take the time to dress for success, they tend to feel good about themselves. Image alone will not win the job offer, but it will go a long way in building respect.


There are no absolute rules regarding dress. Your selection will vary based on your occupation, location and preference. A business suit for a construction job or overalls for an office job would not be appropriate dress. The goal is to look the part, to have your appearance be consistent with your occupation. Neat, clean work clothes would be suitable for assembly, production or warehouse positions. Sales and office positions require business clothes. A conservative suit would be the recommended style for professional and managerial positions.


Personal grooming is just as important as what you wear. You may select the right clothes, but neglecting personal hygiene can ruin the image you wish to present. Review the grooming checklist below before meeting with an employer.

 Goals of Appropriate Dress and Grooming

The primary goal is to “feel good” about the way you look and project a positive image. When you feel good about yourself, you naturally convey confidence and a positive attitude. These nonverbal messages are as important in the interview as the verbal skills you use in selling your qualifications.

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