How much appearance really matters?
They say we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, that appearances don’t matter… or do they?
Is appearance the first thing that impacts our CV? Is it the most important asset? Certainly not. However how much does appearance count in reality?
Firstly, how good looking you are does not matter nearly as much as how well-groomed and put together you are, a fact which is corroborated by my portfolio of successful women that put as much effort into their style as their business credentials. In my experience as a client of other professionals and as the recruiter of potential intern candidates, I can say that those with a better presence are more attentive to the quality of the work they produce and show a sort of pride in fulfilling the task. This does not come as a surprise if we are aware of the fact that our habits and physiology is directly linked to our state of mind.
As someone perpetually curious about social behaviour, branding and women’s empowerment, the importance of appearance is something I’ve pondered endlessly, and as one of my very successful clients beautifully said a couple of months ago: “ …sharper clothes do set a sharper mind…” which is why wearing a well cut garment makes her feel powerful even during a zoom call.
Secondly, if a consultant approaches me (which evidently serves Linkedin's purpose as well) to offer a service to leverage my business or make it more successful, the first thing I would do is look at how they present their business as well as themselves. Do they speak, act and look, like someone that walks the talk?
I remember when I first started my career path, my boss at the time said “When you’re dealing with something and you are not sure who to talk to, always look for the person that looks like they are in charge - walk to the man wearing the suit”. I took that advice on board and have lived by it ever since.
With the current situation as it is, I cannot walk to the man or woman that looks the part, yet the principle applies: I can screen for those who have a sleeker brand and take enough care to upload a profile picture that inspires trust and professionalism, then assess if those qualities are authentic.
To conclude, appearance may not be your first priority, which is totally normal. However, as a professional, I believe that there is much that your look can say about you and help to build successful partnerships and recognition.