How to Groom Yourself for a Job (Literally)
NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It’s hard enough to land a job in this tough labor market, so the last thing you want is to send a bad first impression. But sometimes job hunters do just that by overlooking the most basic grooming necessities.
“I think when you are on a job interview, your aesthetics matter just as much as what you bring intellectually to the table,” says Diana Schmidtke, author of Shortcuts and a celebrity hairstylist who has cut the hair of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars including George Clooney, Matt Damon and Viggo Mortensen.
Schmidtke, who also works as a grooming expert for Paul Mitchell’s Mitch line of men’s hair products, certainly isn’t alone in the belief that appearance matters in a professional setting. Studies have shown that physically attractive candidates are favored in the hiring process and tend to earn more money. At the very least, as MainStreet has previously reported, just by dressing well and grooming themselves, job candidates can at least ensure that they don’t lose points the second they walk in the door. After all, no one wants to be remembered as the under-dressed candidate with a bad hair day.
MainStreet asked Schmidtke to weigh in on the three biggest grooming mistakes she thinks people make – and men in particular – that could hurt their chances of landing a job, and give her advice on what to do instead.
Tame Your Hair
It takes more than just combing your hair for a few minutes in the morning to make it look presentable enough for a professional setting like a job interview, as this reporter found out first-hand.
According to Schmidtke, men need to put in the extra effort to prevent their hair from looking in any way disheveled or messy. For starters, that means trimming down any excess that might make it look fluffy or out of control and perhaps applying some gel to keep it in place. You should also shampoo the hair thoroughly so it looks as healthy as possible and finally shave away any stray hairs on your neck.
“You want to look the part in the sense that everything should be a little tighter and more groomed,” she says.
This goes for men with all hair styles. Even if you think you can somehow get away with a mohawk (we have our doubts) then at least be sure it’s a well-manicured mohawk.
Don’t Forget Your Ear Hair and Nose Hair
It’s easy to focus solely on the hair on the top of your head, but Schmidtke urges men (and women) to be mindful of their nose hairs and ear hairs as well. Sure, having perfectly trimmed nose hairs may not be enough to get you a job, but not having them under control could hurt your chances.
“It’s really distracting to see little hairs blowing every single time you take a breath,” Schmidtke says. “You don’t want your date or potential employer paying attention to that.”