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Dressing for Job Fairs

Dressing for Job Fairs

Marky Stein / Monster

Mind Your First Impressions

As much as we may hate to admit it, most people do judge other people within seconds of meeting them. Ever experienced love at first sight – or the opposite? Making a conscious or subconscious decision in the first few seconds you see someone doesn’t mean you’re a snob; it means you’re human. And so are the folks who recruit at job fairs.

A formal study of hiring managers in more than 400 companies by the San Jose Mercury News concluded the average employer makes a hiring decision within 15 seconds of meeting you. The study simply illustrates a point that psychologists and scientists have known for a long time: A part of the human brain is specifically designed to size up a stranger in the first few seconds. It is a built-in feature of the human nervous system to determine, within seconds, whether a stranger approaching us is friend or foe. And that’s the very mechanism that drives employers, recruiters and human resource representatives to (perhaps not consciously) evaluate a person on the basis of appearance.

So when the next job fair rolls around, pull out a matching outfit, pick some businesslike shoes, get your hair trimmed and go for it!


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