There is a lot of emphasis on appearances when it comes down to everyday life. Between the advertisements in magazines and television, there are a lot of sources telling you how you should look and smell. It’ll be up to you to decide on your personal style but you really want to pay attention to your personal hygiene. While it may not seem like a major detail to pay attention to, it can be the biggest first impression you make on someone before you ever speak a word to them. This becomes especially important when you’re looking for a job.

Hiring managers are able to form their first impressions of you in a matter of seconds. Before they even shake your hand they can determine what kind of person they think you are just by the way you dress and present yourself. If your clothes are wrinkled and tattered, they are going to perceive your attitude about the interview, and in turn the job, as being lax and unprofessional. Be sure your clothes are picked out carefully to match the dress code and cleaned so that they smell fresh. Be sure to avoid wearing or showing off anything that might have a negative impact on your potential employers’ perception of you. This can include visible tattoos, facial piercings, and funky hair colors. Unless otherwise specified, try and dress as professionally as possible. Button-up shirts and slacks with dress shoes are a safe bet but adding a blazer and tie can really up your look if you truly want to make a great first visual impression.

After you’ve picked out your outfit, focus on your personal hygiene. Make sure you shower and clean yourself thoroughly. Beards and mustaches should be trimmed neatly and at an acceptable length to match the job you are trying to get hired for. Your teeth and tongue should be brushed to make sure your breath is fresh and your teeth are looking clean. If you’re worried about the smell of your breath, you can always chew a piece of gum right before the interview. Be sure to dispose of it before the start of the interview, you don’t want to distract your interviewer by chewing something the entire time they are speaking with you. In a survey, 73% of hiring managers stated that grooming had a lot to influence on their perception of a potential candidate while only 21% said it had little effect.

Now, once you have the job you shouldn’t see that as a means to drop that cleanliness routine. Every day you’ll have to work beside people who will also have a formed impression of you. You’ll want to make sure to shower daily and brush your teeth. If you fall behind on these practices and it becomes an issue of the smells surrounding you, your co-workers may not take lightly to it. This doesn’t mean that they’ll just shy away from you but they might go out of their way not to work with you. However, keeping yourself smelling and looking clean doesn’t take too much effort as long as you’re willing to put the time in. If you are unable to make the shower one day, cologne or body spray may help to freshen up your look. Take caution not to use too much, though, as your co-workers may not appreciate the overwhelming scent that might follow you.

Personal hygiene affects so many different aspects of our daily lives. It is always a good idea to keep up with good practices because it doesn’t take too much to keep yourself looking and smelling your best.