Look the Part for Your Job Search

Look the Part for Your Job Search

Invest in your image on and offline with a budget-conscious haircut, updated clothes, makeup, and a professional head shot for your online profiles. 

This week I want you to go shopping for your personal brand.

That’s right, you heard me – shopping. Sure, you can tell your significant other that Amanda made you do it. And for those of you with tight budgets, I’ll show you ways to invest in your brand without breaking the bank.

In all seriousness, to be successful in the job search you have to look and  feel  your best. Isn’t it easier to put yourself out there to network and interview when you’re feeling good about how you look?

And while it’s not fair, experts agree that a  person’s appearance  can affect the outcome of one’s job search and potential for advancement in the workplace. Your personal grooming, professional wardrobe – even your haircut – play a role in your personal brand.

Here are three ways to upgrade your look to improve your brand – on and offline.

Get groomed.

Invest in a  professional haircut  and other grooming services such as waxing, makeup for the ladies, and a professional shave for the gentlemen. Look on  Groupon  or  LivingSocial  for daily deals on these types of services. Often, salons will offer free or discounted cuts for their academies, such as  Aveda  or  Vidal Sassoon . Unless you’re in a highly creative field, stick to a more traditional haircut style. Ladies can take advantage of the cosmetics counter at the nearest department store or  Sephora  location for a free makeover. You may be guilted into buying a lipstick, but overall it will be great deal.

Get tailored.

During this holiday season most of you will be out and about buying presents for your loved ones. Put yourself on the list this year. Take advantage of the holiday sales to update your job-search wardrobe and accessories. Use sites like  Deal News  to find the best promotions, and shop sites like  Overstock  for discounted products. I am a big fan of  Marshalls  and  TJ Maxx  for great deals on high-quality clothing and accessories. Is your family nagging you for gift ideas? Scope out the stores and ask for specific items or gift cards to boost your  job-search attire .

Get a glamour shot.

Did you know that your LinkedIn profile is 40 percent more likely to be clicked on if you have a photo? But not just any photo. This image needs to be professional, friendly, and in alignment with your personal brand. Your selfie is not going to score you any points with prospective employers. And while you have a great family and your dog is adorable, neither of these images belongs in your profile picture.

If you’re thinking about getting a family portrait taken at the local mall, ask if they could throw in a head shot of you as well.  jcp  offers discounts on portraits throughout the year, especially around holiday time. Really strapped for cash? Ask the photographer at the next event or wedding you’re attending to take a shot of you. Just make sure your attire and the background are suitable for your professional image.

With a small investment you can boost your self-esteem and personal image for the job search, so give these tips a try this week.  Next week , we’ll talk about making your professional resume mobile.

Amanda Augustine Amanda Augustine

Amanda Augustine is a well-recognized expert in all things related to career advancement: from identifying your dream job, to developing your professional brand, to acing your next interview. She is a job search and career consultant with a passion for helping people find the find the right job, sooner. Learn more at JobSearchAmanda.com

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