May 27th, 2008

Is Your Wardrobe Affecting Your Paycheck?

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Many young men and women will be graduating from high school and college in the coming weeks. That means many will be looking for their dream job. If you don’t know how to dress for a job interview, it could sabotage your chances of getting your foot in the door.

Dressing the part also affects your bottom line. Research shows a connection between an effective appearance and a good staring salary. Researcher Judith Walters sent out a group of identical resumes to more than a thousand companies. Some of the resumes were accompanied by a “before makeover” photo of an applicant, others by an “after makeover” photo. Each company was asked to determine a starting salary. Starting salaries ranged eight to 20 percent higher as a result of upgrading a mediocre appearance to one that was polished and professional.

Here’s my advice. Always ask if a department store has a personal shopper who can help you choose your professional wardrobe. Many times, it costs the customer nothing to get an expert’s help, even if you don’t buy anything.

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