Attire Affects Potential For Advancement, Say Most Executives Polled

MENLO PARK, CA -- Climbing the career ladder requires the appropriate gear, say executives surveyed recently.  Ninety-three percent of managers polled said a person’s style of dress at work influences his or her chances of earning a promotion; one-third said on-the-job attire “significantly” affects an employee’s advancement prospects.

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals.  It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 150 senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, “To what extent does someone’s style of dress at work influence his or her chances of being promoted?”  Their responses: 

Significantly   33%
Somewhat   60%
Not at all   7%

“The old adage about dressing for the position to which you aspire still holds true,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam.  “A polished appearance lends credibility and may help employers envision the staff member in a role with greater responsibility.

“Attire is not the only thing workers are judged on, but it is part of the equation,” added Domeyer.  “While a proper wardrobe alone won’t earn you a promotion, dressing inappropriately could cost you one.” 

OfficeTeam advises professionals seeking advancement to ask themselves the following questions when selecting work attire:

  • Would managers at my company wear this?  If the answer is “no,” it’s probably not a wise choice for you, either.
  • Is it a distraction?  Unless you’re in the fashion, entertainment or another creative industry, flamboyant or overly trendy attire can detract from your credibility. 
  • Does it give me confidence?  When you’re dressed sharply, you’ll be more self-assured.  Look for attire that is flattering and makes you feel good about yourself.
  • Is it clean and in good condition?  Even in casual work environments, avoid clothes that are torn, wrinkled or messy.  Sloppy attire may prompt your manager to question your attention to detail.
  • Is it comfortable?  Clothing that fits well and allows you to move freely is especially important when you’re interviewing for a job.  Avoid wearing a new suit when meeting with potential employers.  You want to look good, but you don’t want to be distracted by clothes you’re not used to.

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.

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