09/06/2011 02:42 pm ET Updated Nov 06, 2011

It Pays to Look Good!

I found myself on a plane this weekend and had plenty of time to read the newspapers. This weekend's Wall Street Journal headline read "Job Growth Grinds to a Halt," referring to the zero job growth. Seeing this in bold type nearly made my heart stop. I decided to change to lighter fare, after all it was Labor Day weekend, so I picked up the New York Post. After skimming Page Six, I turned the page only to read about President Obama's presidency. The title of the article was "DIRTY JOB." The article included a laundry list of depressing factoids. It categorized people in different situations, including those who have recently lost their jobs, to those who have been out of work for one year, to those who have already used up their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. It stated that very many people are out of work and their chances of re-entering the job market are next to nil. Landing a job and holding onto it seems to be almost impossible. It has become quite clear that these are desperate times.

Getting or keeping a job requires you to be at the top of your game. Having the right credentials and/or experience is important, but it isn't enough to secure a place in the job market. You have to present and maintain the best possible all-around package. This includes your actual qualifications and how you present yourself. It is important to be sociable and engaging. Looking good doesn't hurt either. In fact, many studies demonstrate that attractive people have a better chance of being hired and earning larger salaries. All is not lost if you don't look like the movie star de jour. You can still make a good appearance.

Looking good is easier than you might think. If you are seeking employment or a promotion, it is essential. Start with the basics. You don't have to buy a completely new wardrobe or sign up for plastic surgery. Making a checklist is an easy way to organize your grooming routine.

1) Your hair should be freshly cut and colored. Be sure it is clean and styled. If possible, schedule a blow dry the day of your job interview or when you are meeting with your boss for your review.

2) Wear minimal makeup. Keeping it natural is always best.

3) A manicure is definitely a good idea. This shows that you are attentive to detail.

4) Your outfit doesn't have to be new, but it must be cleaned and pressed. Don't forget about your shoes. Make sure they are polished.

5) Smiling is key. Don't forget to brush and floss your teeth.

How successful you are is up to you. Your personal presentation is key to success in any job market. Looking good is easy and essential. Appearing to be at the top of your game will enable you to walk in with confidence. This is the edge that will help guarantee a successful interview or review.

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