Nerds don’t just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity. (Paul Graham)
My partner changed the career of a man stuck in a job rut. He was looking for a job and no one would hire him. His current boss wouldn’t promote him.
Dress for your career, not your job
He was a banker. He had a great personality, was a hard worker, smart, self assured, and educated. He got things done. He was going nowhere in his career. His white shirt under that nice suit and tie was slightly wrinkled and just didn’t look sharp. Karen gave him one piece of advice that made all the difference, “Get your shirts done at the dry cleaners.” He got the job and rose like a rocket in his new bank. 20 years later he came into our office and expected her to notice that he still got his shirts done at the cleaners. She noticed.
If you are applying for a job, you have to be dressed in at least the same crispness as the hiring manager. A little better is okay. The hiring manager has to get the first impression that you will work as hard as he does. That first impression is often the only real thing that keeps a job candidate from being hired.
When you dress up to the level you want to rise to, you are seen at first glance as someone to be reckoned with. People will automatically figure out where you want to go. Your clothes need to be clean, pressed, and sharp. Your shoes need to be nicer, cleaner, and shinier than the shoes of your boss’s boss. And wear nice socks that never show skin at the bottom of your pants leg.
Look at how your boss’s boss dresses. If you want to impress him, you are going to have to look like him. Sorry. That is just a fact. If you are of the opposite sex, it only applies more strongly. You have to look like you are in his circle of acquaintances in order to be invited to work directly for him.
The way you dress will actually change your performance. Other people will subconsciously give you more respect and more opportunities. Take advantage of it.
Instead of dressing like all the rest of the nerd herd doing your job, dress like the person whose career is going places.
Something To Do Today
Ask your boss to tell you how you should dress.
Later: Resume blasting
Certifications – gold and lead