Sunday 4 December 2016

Not stunning but still want to be successful? Make the most of your appearance

Published 20/10/2011 | 09:15

So, what to do if you’re not blessed with supermodel good looks but still keen to climb the career ladder?

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The buzz word of the moment is ‘erotic capital’ coined by Catherine Hakim, author of Honey Money. Hakim’s reckoning is that women can get ahead by making the most of their physical attributes through exercising and dressing well.

While image consultant AnnMarie Proudfoot (proudfoot.ie) isn’t convinced this is all it takes, she believes looks matter when going for a job.

“Whether we’d like to believe it or not, we sum up people’s appearances in the first few seconds. In a business situation if you don’t present yourself to the best of your ability you may fall prey to rash judgements.”

She adds: “I don’t think beauty will merit a better job, but I do believe overall effort in appearance contributes positively to getting a job because it’s often perceived that if you care about your personal presentation you will put the same care into other areas of your work.”

To ensure you make the best first impression follow these pointers:

- Dress for your body shape. If this means getting a suit altered, do it. You don’t want to look sloppy.

- Make sure shoes are polished, heeled and match the rest of the outfit — it shows attention to detail.

- Wear suitable underwear that is NOT visible through clothes. That’s not what you want to be remembered for.

- Wear white or pinstripe white shirts if you sweat a lot. Blue or grey show patches and won’t make you look cool under pressure.

- Clean hair, barely there makeup and sparse jewellery — you don’t want anything too distracting or to give off any message other than ‘professional’.

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