People make assumptions about you before you have said a single word - assumptions based on the way you look and what you wear. Anne Christian, an image consultant at the Image Team, says appearances can even influence the way an employee's performance is measured at work. This might be unfair but, says Jon Foster-Pedley, the dean and director of Henley Business School South Africa: "You can use this to your benefit. Being well groomed earns you respect, improves your interpersonal relationships and may even lead to promotion." Christian has the following advice: • Each company has its own culture, so take this as your lead. If you are still unsure, get some inspiration from what your boss wears, as this will give you an idea of what is acceptable and what is not; • Jackets in a neutral colour are a good investment. Always wear a jacket to an interview, a presentation or a meeting with company clients; • Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed and your shoes are polished, comfor...

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