Dress for Success in your Health Care Career
Feb 12, 2019
You may not put much thought into how you dress for work. But the truth is, the way you present yourself - including what you wear - tells your employer a lot about you in a health care setting. Even in a workplace without a strict dress code, it pays to give some consideration to the image you put forth each day. And if you're just starting to look for a job, you'll need to pay special attention to your professional appearance to impress your interviewers. To put your best foot forward, follow these tips for dressing to impress during your job search and once you've been hired.
MAKING A GOOD IMPRESSION WHILE JOB-HUNTINGEven if your social peers have pierced noses and eyebrows, that doesn't mean that such creative adornment will be acceptable at your place of employment. And even if you've heard that anything goes at your prospective employer's office, you must dress professionally for an interview. Dressing conservatively is always the right choice for a first, second or third visit with a prospective employer. What does this mean in practical terms? For women:
- Dark pants and a light-colored blouse
- Skirts should hit below the knee
- Shoes should have a low heel
- Keep jewelry, makeup, and perfume to a minimum
- Cover up any piercings, other than pierced ears with small, tasteful earrings
- Nails should be short and well-manicured with light pink or clear polish only
- Choose navy blue, brown or gray slacks and a white, button-down shirt
- Shoes should be a well-polished, dress style
- Remove any earrings
- Trim any facial hair neatly
- Wear minimal cologne, if any
IMPRESSING SUPERIORS ON THE JOBCongrats, you got the job! Regardless of your career path in health care, you'll need to continue to be aware of how you appear to colleagues, superiors, vendors, patients and family members. What is considered professional dress on the job? It depends on the role you're in, the expectations and the environment. If you're in an office job, attire similar to what you'd wear for an interview likely will be appropriate. Your job may not require dressing quite so formally every day, but you should always plan to look professional. Whether you wear a business suit or scrubs to work, here are some general rules to follow on a daily basis in a health care setting:
- Remove piercings other than small, tasteful earrings.
- Cover most tattoos. Small, inoffensive tattoos may be acceptable but check with your employer.
- Make sure your clothes are always clean, are in good repair and fit properly.
- Shoes should be clean and in an appropriate color for your specific workplace.
- Nails should be short and neat. Some health care environments do not allow nail polish or artificial nails, so be sure to check with your employer on these things.