Physical appearance crucial to employers

Physical appearance crucial to employers

AN image management consultant, Mrs Emma Addo-Owusu, has advised job hunters in the corporate world to cover up tattoos, remove extra piercings and wear light makeup to interviews.

She said although the country was saturated with some of these foreign cultures, the moral compass of Ghanaians had not changed to accept the above in addition to indecent skin exposure and others.

Mrs Addo-Owusu, who owns Kobadem Image Consultancy, was speaking in Accra to The Mirror on Wednesday on how poor grooming and reputation could impair the prospects of landing a job and how best to mitigate this.

Offering an insight into the minds of organisations during recruitment, she said such demeanours were still viewed as “irresponsible” by most who might hold prejudices.

She said an interviewee might be viewed as a sex worker, dirty, a drug abuser or disobedient even if that was not the case if he or she appeared in such fashion.

“Unfortunately, during interviews, panellists give points for appearance and if one of them holds such prejudices, the job may be lost regardless of skillset and experience.

“I have seen this happen several times in my line of work,” the consultant said.

She explained that as a brand image consultant, she knew that “companies are influenced by what they see because their employees who will essentially become the faces of their brand may drive potential investors and clients away due to their shabby or unconfident outlook”.

Mrs Addo -Owusu said poor personal grooming could also affect self-confidence and that might hinder an interviewee’s ability to articulate themselves and negotiate desired salaries and needs. Unfortunately, some employers might take advantage of this, reducing their monetary value.

She said she had been a panellist on many interviews and advised that in mitigating these situations, it was imperative that interviewees got their dynamics in order.

That is; studying the employer company’s ethics and values, job description, dress code, style and location even before choosing what to wear or building a Curriculum Vitae.

The consultant said it was important to think before speaking during conversations and interviews and if the answer was not known, it was better to keep quiet than speak incorrectly.

 “The phrase dress how you want to be addressed should not be taken for granted because a confident appearance can equate value and respect,” she cautioned.

Mrs Addo-Owusu also highlighted the need for individuals to engage in professional training and workshops to enable them not only to appear and speak confidently but also to master dress codes and colour combinations. 

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