What Your Grooming Habits
Say About You

Man Looking in Mirror

Good grooming isn't optional.  It's at the top of the list for every employer.  And while high standards of hygiene typically go unnoticed, you will certainly stand out in the crowd if those standards are not up to par.

First impressions form in a matter of seconds.  Think about what attracts you to someone when you first meet.  It's that person's appearance, isn't it?  The first judgment we make about someone is based on what we see:

  • Clothing - neat and fits well, or shabby?  
  • Hair - combed and styled, or looks like you just rolled out of bed?
  • Clean and trimmed fingernails, or looks like a manicure is in order?
  • Makeup - a natural look, stylish, or too heavy?
  • Beard - a clean-shaven guy, or sporting a rugged look?  

Each of these things are seen, assessed, and an impression formed in a matter of 5-7 seconds!  The next several seconds bring to light your general demeanor, charisma, the sound of your voice, and the scent you're wearing (and possibly whether or not you used deodorant).

Grooming Habits Speak Volumes

Just as your personal style says a lot about your personality, your grooming habits can say a lot about your mental and emotional state. 

When you don't bathe regularly, and don't always brush your hair, brush your teeth, or shave, or apply too much perfume or cologne, it indicates that you don't care very much about yourself.  Perhaps you're depressed, grieving, or aren't physically well.

While we may feel sympathy for someone like this, is this the person an employer will hire, who has lots of friends, or receives many invitations?  Unfortunately, no.

But let's consider the opposite.  Think about the type of person who showers daily, brushes his/her teeth at least twice a day, and maintains other personal grooming habits to a high standard.  This person likely has self-respect, steady work, at least a few friends, and socializes with others.

Good grooming habits are (superficially, at least) indicative of a healthy state of mind.

Your Well-Groomed Checklist

It takes practice to turn a task into a habit.  But when it comes to grooming and personal appearance, the effort is worth it.  Are you completing the items on this list?

  • A bath/shower a day.  Hair washed at least every other day.
  • Deodorant applied.  (Body odor is always a turn-off.)  
  • Be wary of perfume and colognes.  (You might not realize your added enhancement might be a turn-off to others.) 
  • Teeth brushed regularly.  Visit your dentist for proper care.
  • Nails clean, trimmed, and filed.  Hands and skin clean and soft.
  • Hair combed and styled neatly.
  • Clean lenses if you wear glasses or contacts.
  • Clothes clean, with no stains, and wrinkle-free.
  • Shoes cleaned/polished and appropriate for the situation.
  • Clothing fits well - not too tight, too loose, too low-cut, or too short.  Jewelry minimal.

Being well-groomed cultivates self-respect and confidence.  Coworkers, clients, students, and friends want to be around you.

Use the list above as a starting point for your personal grooming habits.  Add to it or adjust some items according to your lifestyle or work environment - or the professional and relationship opportunities you wish to create for yourself.

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