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  • Ann Willets

Can Self Expression Cost You the Job?


Do Employers Still Care About How You Present Yourself? Do you?

While many agencies are loosening up, you might be surprised by a senior hiring manager that retains a conservative mindset. So, does that mean that you keep your hair dyed a “normal shade,” cover your tattoos, take out facial piercings, and wear professional attire until you get far enough into the hiring process (could be the first interview, could be later) to get a read on, essentially, the culture?

The public relations industry is full of younger workers, and incoming generations like young Millennials and Generation Z have grown up in a world that is unphased by varying forms of self-expression.

But what happens when you’re trying to land a job, particularly in the PR industry, and you don’t have a read on the agencies or companies you’re interviewing with yet?

While many agencies are loosening up, you might be surprised by a senior hiring manager that retains a conservative mindset. So, does that mean that you keep your hair dyed a “normal shade,” cover your tattoos, take out facial piercings, and wear professional attire until you get far enough into the hiring process (could be first interview, could be later) to get a read on, essentially, the culture?

My question is this, “Is it fair to have to sacrifice self-expression for an agency’s preferences?” Let me know what you think.

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