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Because it looks like you are trying!

SuitYes! Yes! Yes! Because it “looks like you’re trying”, Seth writes. A dear friend of mine is out of town meeting with an organization about a nice position with them. I argued, begged, and pleaded with him to wear a suit. It’s a position where a suit is appropriate and fully within the salary offered. I tried everything… no budge.

“I don’t do suits”, he says.
“You have to!”, I say.
“I asked and they said they all wear jeans”, he says.
“So what!?”, says I.

He didn’t wear a suit.

Now granted, he will most likely get the offer. I don’t doubt his incredible ability nor his personality, drive, and dedication. I felt totally ‘old school’ telling him to wear a suit. He and I both work for companies that are dressed down and casual. It wasn’t always like that, I worked for companies where I threw a tie on every day. I don’t mind it… makes me feel important. It does, I must admit. :)

I simply didn’t have a good answer for him when I kept bugging him, but I’m sure that a suit would have resulted in a better offer, better options, better something! Perhaps simply additional respect. A suit is simply an investment in yourself. Wear the suit, get the cash… put it in the dry-cleaners until next time. What’s the downfall? No one laughs at a guy in a suit. But they might laugh at the guy in jeans.

In the past, I have personally made the decision to not hire people because of their dress code and their hygiene. It’s unfortunate… but I did pass them by even though they were very talented. Why? I never thought about it before, but Seth hit it on the head… it’s because they were not trying. The guy (or gal) in the suit was trying. They put on the fancy socks, shined the shoes, tied that Windsor 3 times, put the collar pins in… and took the jacket on and off 3 times so it wouldn’t get wrinkled. What a pain! But they did it. Why? Because they were trying!

Is that wrong? Am I getting old?

I wish I had read this entry a couple weeks ago so I could have answered him. Much like Seth talks about the Marketing Balloons at the Auto Sales place, a suit makes you look like you are trying.

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About Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of The Marketing Technology Blog. Doug is the CMO of CircuPress and CEO of DK New Media, an agency specializing in assisting marketing technology companies with their inbound marketing - leveraging social media, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click and public relations. Their clients include Angie's List, GoDaddy, Mindjet and many more. Douglas is also the author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies.

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2 comments

  1. I agree totally Doug. I would even add a nice haircut and shined shoes to the mix. To me if the person doesn’t care enough to make a good impression. What makes you think he will care enough about doing his job well or care enough about your company. It’s not always about ability and brains. There are a lot of smart people. It’s really about passion and drive.

  2. Also agree. I used to be proud of never, ever wearing a suit (being about the only one on graduation day, to name just an example). But since having started my own company, and having had a number of client meetings, I have learned (and not just accepted) that it does make sense to dress up. It is a way of saying that you are serious about what you are doing. That you respect your client. That you think about what you are doing.
    At later meetings (or, in your friend’s case), you can always dress down. But never more casual that you client!

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