Physical Presentation and Appearance
Physical presentation and appearance are two of the biggest factors that your success as a professional hinges on. Whether you are pounding the pavement applying for positions, attending an actual interview, enrolling clients into your practice, or working with a client; the first impression you give to others can make or break any future relationship you may have with that person.
No matter how you get an interview or where you bump into a potential client, once you are in the situation, you will have to create a good impression. One study indicated that, of those who made it as far as an interview, about 40% created a bad first impression, mostly based on their dress and grooming. First impressions do count and if you make a bad one, you will never get a chance to recover and your chances of getting a job offer will rapidly decrease.
You must carry yourself as a professional at all times. No matter where you are, you are representing not only yourself and your business, but the industry of massage therapy at large. You may be someone’s only idea of what massage is. The employers that the Career Services department works with are some of the leaders in this industry, and the only way to get in the door is to make that first impression as perfect as possible.
Employers and clients are looking for someone they can trust and someone who appears to be a qualified professional. The following reminders are important to keep in mind when creating your physical presentation and appearance:
- Dressing “comfortably” for an interview or a client means, in large part, dressing appropriately for the field or industry. Nothing less than your clinic uniform guidelines should be worn in the massage therapy industry.
- Part of interview preparation is learning the “dress code” of the target employer.
- How we dress involves intensely personal choices; dressing effectively as a professional bodyworker may involve compromising some of these choices.
- When in doubt, go conservative.
- Your only goal is to impress the client or interviewer.
- Dressing appropriately for an interview or client shows them that you think they are important and that you take them and their needs seriously.
- You can’t afford to make mistakes that will sabotage you before you’ve even had your shot at letting the client or employer know who you are and what you can do.
Remember that you are your best marketing piece. Be aware of who you are marketing to, and what will most positively influence them. Most people do not look the same at work and on personal time. Give yourself the freedom to explore what will work for you and BE PROFESSIONAL!