How your appearance can affect your paycheck

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How your appearance can affect your paycheck

This is a guest post from our campus ambassador Samantha Bankey from Ferris State University.

We all are aware that the way we dress and groom ourselves is an expression of our individuality and our own personalities.  We all know the basic etiquette of the workplace like dressing conservatively and avoiding foul language, but did you know practicing some little things can also raise your paycheck? While reading an article on Yahoo!, I saw a couple of things that can influence how much you make in the workplace. The way you present yourself is a direct presentation of your company. Listed below are a couple of pointers that I elaborated on that can help you gain some respect in your workplace and increase your salary:

  • Smile a lot. Smiling is not only a sign that you’re happy to be at your job, but a sign that you are trustworthy. Trust is one of the biggest qualities that employers and higher ranked employees possess and look for in others. It also shows that you’re approachable to your co-workers and clients.
  • Stand up straight and practice good posture. Leaning forward or with your chest puffed out will make people think you are powerful. It shows that it raises testosterone and lowers stress hormones. The reverse applies to slouching and has a negative effect.
  • For ladies: wear makeup. Yes, a lot of women are comfortable without makeup on, and prefer not to put any on at all. However, a survey in the New York Times reported that 64% of directors said that women who wear makeup look more professional, and 18% of directors said that women who don’t wear makeup “look like they can’t be bothered to make an effort,” which makes sense. Even if it’s a little bit of foundation, some mascara, and a little lip gloss, you want to show that you represent yourself the way you would represent your company. Just be sure not to make your makeup too overdone unless your job is a circus clown.
  • For men: ditch the facial hair. It has shown that a mustache or a beard isn’t a good thing to have in the business world. The same applies to this as women who don’t wear makeup to the office – if you can’t make an effort to shave, do you put effort in anything else? Does this mean you have to have a completely clean face? No, because some businessmen have some fuzz on their face – just be aware of how much is too much. Look at your supervisors and CEO. How are they grooming their face?

These may seem a little obvious, but look around your workplace while you’re interning or on the job – do all of you co-workers practice these things? Just remember, when you present yourself on the job, you’re representing your company and what it stands for. Appearance can be just as important as a basic interview or cover letter and can really say a lot about you before you even say a word.