Your personal brand - dress for success - Business Works
BW brief

Your personal brand - dress for success

by Helen Harker, Design Manager at Simon Jersey In an increasingly-competitive jobs market, it's imperative that candidates do their research before heading to a job interview, as wearing the wrong clothes can demonstrate that you aren't aware of, or don't understand, the company's values, says Helen Harker, Design Manager at Simon Jersey.

Our study, which polled 2000 people, underlined the point that the majority of employers expect interviewees to dress in a way that befits the company's own policies. The survey shows that more than one in five recruiters have already discounted a candidate based on how they dressed for their interview.

77% of recruiters would be less likely to hire somebody if the person turned up to an interview inappropriately dressed and, of these, 22% said they had already overlooked a candidate based on their appearance

The survey also revealed that:

  • 37% of managers have overlooked someone for a promotion or pay rise because they consistently flout the dress code;

  • 73% of respondents said they can gauge a person's attitude towards their job based on how they are dressed;

  • 66% of bosses believe they can measure someone's job performance based on their choice of clothes.

In today's business environment, many companies have relaxed their workwear policies in recent years and our research reveals that only one in four workers now label their employer's dress code as 'smart', while a further 5% described their dress code as 'very smart'. In fact, 36% confirmed that their employer had introduced a 'smart casual' work wear policy, and 15% said their company had gone completely casual.

For many workers, the smart casual dress code is too ambiguous and it's common for people to either under or overdress. The difficulty with smart casual is that it's often referenced as the dress code in event invitations and in work contracts, but it's never quite clear what it means. We think businesses should aim to be more specific, especially when it comes to what people should wear to work so it saves the stress on both sides.

In general, smart casual for work is anything that helps you create a professional look, with a relaxed feel that allows you to stay comfortable and show your personal style.

Company dress codes are still important in 2016. The way in which employees dress ultimately reflects the brand, so it's vital that they get it right. It's also interesting to see that so many interviewers are likely to turn somebody down because of how they're dressed

Sometimes, it's the small details that can make all the difference. Somebody who has turned up for an interview in completely the wrong attire has already shown that they haven't done their research and that they don't understand what your business is all about.

The survey results suggest that workplace dress codes are evolving and it's important that you bear this in mind before attending an interview and in work in general.

There are a number of mistakes people make, for example, showing too much flesh. Your clothes can be more casual, but you should still keep to the usual work wear rules. Make sure skirts and shorts aren't too short or tight and that tops aren't too revealing. Also, heavily ripped jeans may still be on trend, but they show too much flesh for work and don't look professional.

Casual workwear doesn't mean you can come in wearing an un-ironed shirt and dirty trainers. You should still aim to create a professional image by being presentable. Similarly, whether it's your favourite football club or sports brand, you should save big logos for the weekend. They're too distracting for work. Only incorporate fashionable pieces that help you maintain your professional image.

Of course, as more organisations move towards smart casual dress, the rules become a little more blurred and open to interpretation. That's why we recently published a guide to help employees avoid common mistakes. With so much competition for jobs, it'd be a real shame if you miss out because of how you presented yourself.

For more information and a copy of the guide, please visit: How to avoid common 'smart casual workwear' mishaps (an ultimate guide)

Tweet article
BW on TwitterBW RSS feed