What is the modern form of gentlemen’s business attire? You don’t want to be on the back foot before you’ve even opened your mouth, so should you plan in advance to adapt to your environment and make the best first impression?
Are the days behind us when suit, shirt and tie was the norm and a clean shave was the only way to display your face?
As a recruiter working across multiple sectors, I can say from experience that significant thought needs to be applied and a chameleon approach needs to be adopted. Shirt, suit and tie are often essential for more traditional vendors, even more so for those focused within the financial services sector.
However, with the new wave of e-Commerce, digital media, social and marketing vendors, anything more ‘dressy’ than a blazer and open neck shirt looks out of place.
Do companies and prospective employers really rule you out on these grounds alone? Ultimately, yes, many do. To dress in a similar way to your target audience is essential and if you cannot demonstrate empathy within the first interaction, then more often than not it’s one meeting too far.
Now for the million dollar question – to shave or not to shave? Recent surveys suggest 76% of CEOs in UK companies walk into their Monday morning board meeting with a smooth, freshly shaven face, with only 24% braving a beard or stubble. If it’s good enough for them, is it good enough for you?