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The Job Blog

The Attire Syndrome
By MacKinley Chipman
Dec 16, 2007 - 6:45:41 PM

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Judging by the title I bet you thought that you were about to begin reading another tale from the master of horror, Stephen King but wait you will find it even better than that.

I have observed an interesting phenomenon over the last few years while attending and participating at job fairs in central and northern Maine.

Male job seekers by the dozens will show up in their casual cloths, have unshaven faces and wearing poor attire for the event. The ladies will arrive with unstyled hair; their gray roots will be showing and or their overall dress will leave little to the imagination. I do not mean to imply that everyone shows up this way but the numbers will be substantial. Do they really want a job or are they just going through the motions in order to keep their multiple benefits coming in? Maybe they did not think for even a second that they might meet and have a chance to get an interview or were they so discouraged and dejected that the thought never crossed their mind. One has to wonder what they are thinking. Often I feel like standing on a chair and proclaiming to the crowd, The rehearsal is over, you can go home now and come back tomorrow when the real job fair starts.

On my office wall I have a full length mirror with a sign above it that reads, Would You Hire This Person?

You may wonder why I would ask such a question of someone, especially someone who may have recently had the misfortune of loosing their job. Well, the truth is a lot of people I see who are looking for work do not dress appropriately while in the search mode in my opinion. Their wear their hair long or in disarray, they have a tattoo where they cannot be hidden and yes some of them have BO. For example, I had one guy who let his hair get shaggy, grew an un-kept beard and wore John Lennon style dark glasses and you could not see his eyes. He was discouraged that he was not being offered any jobs and was blaming it on age discrimination. I asked him if he wore those glasses to interviews, yes he said. I told him to loose the glasses, get a hair cut and give them a few extra bucks to trim his beard while he was at it. He did not like me much that day but did as I asked, got a referral from the barber who cut his hair that day who made a call on his behalf, secured an interview and was hired a few days later.

So this goes to show you that we only get one chance to make a good first impression! If you want a potential employer to consider you for a job, you have to first look and act the part, have your resume up to date, and are always ready to meet with an employer and ready to be interviewed.

Please do not forget to tell your friends about If they are using dial up internet and not using 207ME, then they are paying more than they need too. See the side advertisement for the toll free number and tell them to say that Mac sent them.

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