Yesterday, one of my dearest friends had an important interview. She has just moved to a new city, and has taken some time off to settle down in the new house, and is trying to enter the corporate world again after a short break. She is extremely smart, one of the wittiest people I know, and was the star of her office in her past days. Unfortunately for her, on her way to the interview, her daughter smudged her new suit with fingertips stained with curry, the humidity frizzed her hair, and she chipped two nails while opening the car door.

She was just having a bad day; it wasn’t her fault. But it didn’t come as a surprise when she didn’t get the job.

69% of hiring managers cited dressing inappropriately as their top turnoff about candidates. In fact, in an interview, the 10 seconds of your first impression make or break it. And in those first 10 seconds, most of the cues are non-verbal: like your dress, grooming, and body language. Personal grooming and presentation is crucial in today’s world, and my friend learned that lesson first-hand.

Grooming sometimes gets difficult. With a thousand other things you juggle, sometimes paying attention to your clothes or hair feels like a luxurious vanity you can ill-afford that day. Unfortunately, be it job opportunities, invitations to a party you covet, or attention from a cute guy you like – all of your social (and professional) interactions depend on how you present yourself. Outside of work, you meet friends of friends, or spouses, or parents of your kids’ friends. Most of them – subconsciously or not – have you pegged in the first few seconds. And 93% of this opinion is based on non-verbal cues. In fact,

55% of your first impression is based on your physical aspects (your clothing, hair, body language). 38% depends on your confidence, and the quality of your voice. In fact, the words you choose to speak, and the way you say them only matter a measly 7%.

Scary? I bet!

This just drives home the point that grooming and self-presentation shouldn’t be one of those things that you pay attention to when you have the time. Which is never, let’s be honest!

I’m not talking about primped enough for a walk down the ramp, but at least:

  • Clean, ironed clothes
  • Neatly arranged hair
  • Subtle makeup for women
  • No body odour
  • Shoes that are clean, and match your clothes

Research proves that to be successful, who you are, is much more important than what you know. And there are multiple ways of delving deeper into this art of getting to know yourself, and presenting the best version to others. For example, did you know that you can increase the chances of a positive impression by 36% by using the other person’s name in the first minute of the conversation! Or smiling and looking at a person in the eye while being introduced to them makes you more likable by a whopping 50%.

There are no excuses anymore! Your success is solely dependent on you, and the way you present yourself. The secrets are within you – just unlock them. And if you need help, I’m only a couple of clicks away!