Appearance a Must for Women on Job, Poll Says

No stockings and casual dress may be fashionable, but the look may not help you on the job. Appearance still matters for women in the workplace, according to a recent poll conducted by the international consulting firm Yankelovich Partners Inc.

The June telephone survey of 1,000 men and women found that 69% believe clothing, hair and makeup are very important or extremely important in helping a woman to make a good impression. Her appearance, 84% said, affects whether she is asked to represent her company at outside meetings. Three in four believe professional attire helps a woman to be taken more seriously and to be given more responsibilities.

The survey was conducted for Work Your Image!, a joint program of the Women Work! The National Network for Women's Employment and the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Assn. Women Work! assists welfare recipientsand others hoping to get jobs.

"The findings from the poll confirms the advice we've been giving ... that appearance matters whether you like it or not," said Jill Miller, executive director of Women Work! "It helps an individual to feel confident when they know they are dressed appropriately. Then they can talk about their skills instead of worrying about how they look."

Those surveyed also provided some on-the-job fashion tips: Wear a knee-length skirt or longer on the first day; makeup should be light, hair neat and nails short or average length with clear or light polish. Avoid heavy makeup; unconventional hairstyles; clunky jewelry; short, tight skirts; and bright or glitter nail polish.

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