9 Appearance Mistakes That Could Be Holding You Back at Work

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By Hope Restle

You do your job well, you add value to your team, and you contribute to the company's bottom line — but you haven't been promoted in years.

Confused?

Well, it turns out that your professional success doesn't depend entirely on your work ethic and performance.A recent survey from CareerBuilder shows that hiring managers seriously consider a professional's appearance when deciding whether to promote them to a higher position.

In a perfect world, we would only be judged by the work we do — but that's not the case. Especially in the corporate world, appearances matter...a lot.

More than 2,000 human resource managers across the US participated in the survey and cited these nine (superficial) factors as things that would dissuade them from promoting an employee:
  • 44% were less likely to promote an employee who wore provocative clothing to work.
  • 43% were less likely to promote an employee who wore wrinkled clothes.
  • 32% were less likely to promote an employee with piercings other than traditional ear piercings.
  • 27% were less likely to promote an employee who frequently wore clothing that was too casual for the workplace.
  • 27% were less likely to promote an employee with visible tattoos.
  • 25% were less likely to promote an employee with an unprofessional hairstyle.
  • 24% were less likely to promote an employee with constant bad breath.
  • 21% were less likely to promote an employee who wore too much perfume or cologne.
  • 15% were less likely to promote an employee who wore too much makeup.
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