Did you know that it only takes 4 seconds to make a first impression and 4 minutes to make a lasting impression? This is extremely important in the context of your career opportunities and finding that perfect role. Following on from our latest and very successful presentation at UCCI (University College Of The Cayman Islands) called “Dress for Success”, presented by Melody Martin and Invenio Global’s own Nikeeta Beri, the team at Invenio thought it would be useful to share some tips on the importance of first impressions when it comes to your career working in the legal field or professional services.
Melody Martin is a young accomplished Human Resources professional, mentor, scholar, and most recently, mother. She is currently the youngest senior member of the Human Resources team at a leading international law firm.
Throughout the past 5 years, Melody continues to excel within her firm from starting as an HR Executive to her current role as Human Resources Business Partner.
She has extensive enthusiasm, experience, involvement, and knowledge in various areas of HR specifically in Recruitment, Retention, and Training.
Whether you are looking to work as a lawyer, accountant, bank clerk, or for any other role within the legal field or financial services, you need to present yourself in the best possible light. Those first impressions count, so be sure to get right.
For a job interview or meeting in a financial services role, a classic power pantsuit or skirt suit or a work dress are always strong choices for dressing for success. It is important you wear something you feel comfortable in – if you never wear suits, don’t wear one to the job interview. If you don’t feel confident in your outfit, it will show and potentially lose you a job. It goes without saying that the skirt shouldn’t be too short and you shouldn’t show too much cleavage. It’s absolutely fine to show off your personality through what you’re wearing, as long as you’re not wearing a fluorescent pink mini skirt! Stick to a business-professional look.
If you need to dress formally, you can’t go wrong wearing a gray, black, or navy two-piece business suit, a shirt, and a tie that matches the colours, in your suit. If the company is a bit more informal, you could wear smart dark jeans or dark trousers and a jacket. Avoid garish patterns on ties that can distract an interviewer. Always wear clean and polished shoes.
If the company you’re interviewing with requests that you adhere to its “smart casual” dress code, you can get away with ditching the formal suit for the interview. A jacket or blazer over a polo or collared dress shirt can work fine in some situations. Pair that with trousers made of corduroy, twill, moleskin, wool, cotton, or linen, and you’ll have a perfectly presentable look.
Women can get away with a nice skirt or a pair of trousers – avoid flashy fabrics such as satin, lace, or chiffon and avoid costume jewelry (see below on the topic of accessories!).
Firstly, do not panic. The same rules apply to a video interview as they do to a face-to-face meeting. Make sure you dress professionally but to look your best on camera, avoid bright colors and patterns and opt for softer colors instead. If you plan on wearing a tie, wear a solid color rather than a patterned one and if you wear glasses, adjust the lighting in the room to reduce glare from the lenses.
Top tip – Make sure the background for the video is appropriate. Use a background provided by the video conferencing platform (where available) or ensure that the room you are in is tidy.
We would advise you to be cautious, particularly with tattoos. Statistics say that 40% of people aged 18 to 29 have a tattoo and one survey found that many employers still have unfavorable views of inked individuals. However, this depends a lot on the employer’s age, the industry you’re in, and company policy. If you are unsure of the company’s policy, it’s better to be safe than sorry. For example, for your first interview or meeting with your prospective employer, take out facial piercings and cover-up tattoos until you know the lay of the land.
When it comes to facial hair, keep it trimmed and clean. An un-kept beard screams “slacker” and no one wants to be seen as a slacker.
Whether it is a Zoom call, Google Meets, or meeting with a prospective employer in person, make sure you:
Now you know how to Dress for Success, it is time to make that first impression count and launch your career to new heights. If you are looking for a new job in Cayman, please get in touch with one of our recruitment consultants or otherwise check out our job board for the latest available Cayman jobs.
Invenio Global is committed to community involvement and helping the careers and aspirations of everyone. As part of our Cayman giveback, If you are a school, college, or charity and would like information on our workshops, including “Dress for Success”, please get in touch here.