There is some power in a first impression.  It has been said before that you only get one chance to make a first impression.  Colleen Atwood, American costumes designer, said, “Costumes are the first impression that you have of the character before they open their mouth-it really does establish who they are.”  Our appearance is often the key to an impression.  A person’s physical appearance can lead others to conclude a lot about a person, even about areas that aren’t so physical.

Job seekers are aware of certain don’ts in a professional environment.  Shala Marks, online editor and writer for Recruiter.com, writes, “Dressing inappropriately can cost a job seeker a potential job and even create a negative reputation for the person, especially if this is a regular occurrence.”  Marks continues, raising the question, “What are the effects of those ‘unprofessional looking’ workers already in the office . . . specifically, management?”

 

As an interviewee’s attire can have a negative effect on employment, so can a manager’s unprofessional appearance negatively impact their workers.

Here are four things to think about:

1. A Manager’s First Impression

As a new worker, the day you meet your boss is important.  It can, and usually does have a lasting impression.  If you are a manager, you want to appear with authority.  Appearance is one way to achieve this.  You want your employees to view you as a person with authority.  Having a lax or unprofessional appearance could affect how your employees treat you for the duration of their job tenure.

2. Managers Represent a Company

As you move higher up in a company, your representation of that company increases.  Your role as the face of an organization becomes more crucial.  If we are being honest, no company would have an unprofessional, unkempt face representing their business. This would discourage clients from partnering with your company.  The impression given is unprofessional and unorganized.  This sparks the question, how can the quality of the products or services not be the same?

3. A Manager Is the Face of Their Department

Ask yourself if your appearance would make someone proud to introduce you to a client, boss, potential employee, etc.  Does your appearance display the organized, professional qualities that led you to land your management position?  Similar to number 2, you represent the department or team you manage.  Set the example.

4. Loss of Respect

As a manager you want those inside and outside the company to take you seriously.  Consistent unprofessional appearance can cause employees to lose respect for you.  This can have a negative impact on your relationships with your employees.  No matter what your job title says, no one is going to take you seriously if you do not carry yourself in a way that deserves respect.