No BS Job Search Advice: Sharp Dressed Man

Sharp Dressed Man

“Clean shirt, new shoes And I don’t know where I am goin’ to. Silk suit, black tie, I don’t need a reason why. They come runnin’ just as fast as they can Coz every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.”

­Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill & Frank Beard

Tuesday, I left my office in New York, and, as I crossed Fifth Avenue, I saw a familiar scene. Two professionals, a man, and a woman in their late 20’s were walking toward me. The woman wore a tailored suit with a shawl around her shoulders. Her hair was styled well and, if I had more than two seconds to take in her appearance, I would have found a manicure, terrific shoes, and a great handbag. She exuded confidence.

And the man?

His suit jacket was open. His shirt was coming out of his trousers, his shoes were not shined (I didn’t have time to check for scuffs on them), his tie was bland and down from his collar; his hair a mess. He looked tired and worn, struggling to keep up with her.

Why do men go to work or interview in clothing that doesn’t fit them well? What is it that causes them to believe that a poor presentation will be ignored and they will receive top dollar in a job offer when they do this?

Think about what you wore to work this week? Did you look like a champion or a chump? If you are thinking about interviewing, check out your wardrobe. Where does it need updating? Check your shoes. Are your socks over­the­calf (good) or ankle (bad ­­no one wants to see leg hair when you cross your legs)?

Do your suits show the least bit of age? Buy two new ones (one for the first interview; one for the second interview).

And, if you’re in a field where suits are not worn, be stylish.

What is the look that will create the buzz about you? There is “a look” for the music industry, another for a web designer, the third one for a real estate broker, and a fourth for someone in building trades, right?

So, unlike the song where the goal is getting women to like you, here you want more money and better opportunities. It won’t replace skills competency but it will advantage you over your competition.

© 2006, 2014, 2020 all rights reserved.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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