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What Does Your Appearance Say about You & Why Does It Matter?

You are walking in the mall, and you see two women walking near you.  One woman is dressed in tattered gray sweat pants, grayish-white tennis shoes, and a black halter top.  The other woman is dressed in a freshly pressed gray business suit and black high heels.  What assumptions do you make about these two women, they lifestyles they lead, and how they relate to others?

First impressions are important to many families.  Many families will not hire a babysitter without a picture. Truly, a picture can say a thousand words.  But people are so much more than what meets the eye.

Interviews are opportunities for families to get to know prospective babysitters.  Thorough knowledge cannot be gleaned from just one interview, but basic knowledge can.  The goal of interviewers and interviewees is the same: to provide as much information as practical to ensure that the job is a good fit for the interviewee and the interviewee is a good fit for the job.  After all, neither the interviewer nor the interviewee wants a failed employment relationship.  Sometimes, however, a prospective babysitter may answer an interview question in a way that seems inconsistent with the way that she presents herself.  When balancing what an interviewee says with what an interviewee projects (i.e., her appearance, etc.), most interviewers will favor the latter over the former because of the fear of obscured or misrepresented information.

For these reasons, how you present yourself is important.  Your clothing, hair style, jewelry, and more makes statements about how you see yourself and how you want others to see you.  You’ve chosen these items because they best express you.  Do you present yourself as conservative, earthy, professional, sexy, matronly, fun, or something else?  For example, if you post a photograph of yourself on your on-line for job hunting purposes, does your chosen photograph properly reflect your professional goal or does it make you look fun and flirty?  Does your photograph look like someone you would hire to be a nanny if you were a parent?  As you prepare for your job search, give thought to your appearance and make sure that you are presenting in a way that best represents who you are and what you want.

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