7 ways your appearance is tanking your job prospects

Hello fellow millennials. Sorry to be the bearer of the buzzkill, but in the name of professionalism we need to talk about how you dress at work. We need to talk about what to wear, but more importantly, what not to wear at work. As much as we love to express ourselves through our clothing and personal style, this form of expression could be getting in the way of our career advancement. According to a study by CareerBuilder, certain aspects of our appearance may be affecting our chances of getting a promotion.


What not to wear at work, ever.


1. Provocative or racy clothing

Sexy is a look best reserved for after office hours. Findings from the CareerBuilder study showed that 44% of managers would be less likely to promote someone who dressed provocatively. Even though “provocative” is subjective, it’s a wise idea to opt for more conservative clothing (likely outlined in the company dress code), when you go to the office. Avoid shirts that are too tight, too low-cut or revealing.


2. Unfit footwear

The office is no place for flip flops, Crocs or anything rubber and made for outdoor use. It can be a challenge to find the balance between comfortable and professional, especially since each office has its own idea of what professional looks like. A good marker is to see what your bosses are wearing on their feet to have an idea of what’s appropriate.


3. Visible tattoos

According to the CareerBuilder study, 27% of employers said they would be less likely to promote a person with visible tattoos. Of course, tattoos aren’t something you can take off easily. If you’re thinking about getting one, consider getting it in a place you can easily cover with clothing. If you already have a tattoo, covering it up with makeup may be a good option, if you’re looking to be taken more seriously at the workplace.


what not to wear at work


4. Crazy haircuts

Haircuts deemed “ostentatious” were also one of the top factors that could rule you out of a potential promotion. If you like to get funky with your hairstyle, try to find a cut that can be professional during the week that can also be sculpted into something with more pizazz for nights and weekends.


5. Non-traditional piercings

Eyebrow, nose or non-traditional ear piercings may affect how your boss sees you. If you can, it may be a good idea to take your piercings out while you’re at work as you’ll be seen as more competent.


what not to wear at work


6. Unruly facial hair

Men with facial hair should invest in grooming said facial hair. Showcasing your magnificent beard isn’t the issue, but if it’s not properly trimmed and cleaned, it could cause problems with how you’re perceived at work.


7. Wrinkled clothing

Wearing a wrinkled shirt or suit is a surefire way to undermine your professionalism. In fact, 43% of managers surveyed said wrinkled clothes or a disheveled appearance would affect whether they promoted an otherwise competent worker. Time to invest in an iron, guys.


Apply now to boost your career with an international internship.


Sources: http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=7%2F2%2F2015&id=pr901&ed=12%2F31%2F2015


1. based on Millennials Jam Workshop: Youth and ICTs beyond 2015, by ITU Pictures, CC-by-2.0

2. based on 221/365, by lisaclarke, CC-by-ND 2.0

3. based on Beardy, by Roman Königshofer, CC-by-ND 2.0


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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