Building a personal brand when preparing for an interview is key! The article, The Recruiter Rejected Me – Because of My Outfit, by Liz Ryan, gave GREAT advice to the young lady that wrote to her. I hope that everyone reads Liz’s advice. Well said! I would like to make another observation as well Liz, thank you.
I think the take away is that today’s younger generation believes that their image has no impact when it comes to doing a job. Those days are gone. We have gone through the dot.com rage when everyone was going to work in their socks and underwear; where, there was so much demand and a small pool of talent. Fast forward 20 years. A lot of talent, less jobs.
One can no longer “ask and you shall receive”. Those days are gone too. There is a lot of competition out there. If you want to play, the game (work), then you need to put on your game face. Have your knowledge/expertise intact (she apparently did-hence the conservations), then “show-up”, reflective of your knowledge/Expertise by Acting and Looking the part! If your look is too-relaxed, then perhaps the perception of your work abilities are probably perceived as too relaxed as well.
This approach from the young lady is NOT entirely her fault. With organizations having a more relaxed dress code, they did/do so without putting any parameters in the place. Do’s and don’ts in a dress code only leaves one with a great deal of self-interpretations. Results: One BIG mess!
Also, shame on the recruiter. She should have known better then to let a potential candidate NOT KNOW what is expected of them from many different aspects, particularly dress, in this case. Does she not know that the candidate’s brand is reflective of her (recruiter) brand? She should have ensured that her brand was protected by letting the candidates know what is expected of him or her. Candidates are not mind readers, none of them are. Yes, the young lady should have asked, but I suspect she didn’t realize she needed to do that.
Organizations, and recruiters, can’t ASSume anything. It’s the responsibilities of these type entities to let others know what to expect so they can deliver in a GREAT way and NOT HAVE to walk away with their tails between their legs. Making someone feel this way is NOT good business.
When building a personal brand, one’s visibility is worth as much as 60% when one is going beyond status quo, trying to maximize his or her success potential, with 10% being performance and 30% being one’s image. Remember, we are talking about success potential. To keep a job, you have to perform at 100%; however, to build a brand that stands out, one’s visibility is key! This holds true for an interview as well. You resume will get you in the door, BUT, it will NOT keep you there.
As in this case, the resume opened the door for her, but when she showed up, NOT looking the part it killed her chance of staying there. Fair? No! Reality, yes. And the sooner one knows and understands that, the better;-)