It’s not unheard of to see someone at your Grandma’s or Grandpa’s age with blue or green highlights in the hair, a visible tattoo or three and maybe some piercings in the face. Times have changed with what is considered an acceptable appearance at work, but for job seekers, keeping some things in mind when it comes to proper grooming and hygiene for the professional setting is something that should stay top-of-mind.
Some of the companies Tech Needs works with have a grooming policy (along with a dress code), and our recruiters are aware of specific requirements for different positions. Your recruiter will inform you of these stipulations.
While every position may have varying requirements, here are some general things to keep in mind, related to grooming and hygiene expectations.
- Scents: Perfume, cologne and/or body sprays may be discouraged or not allowed at a job site. One reason is there are some people who have serious allergic reactions to particular fragrances or chemicals that are used to make scents. This could be a co-worker or a customer. Some businesses may allow for a light scent to be present, while others may require that you do not apply any perfume, cologne or body spray.
- Footwear: Dependent on the type of job or industry, a company may require you to purchase and wear safety shoes or boots. Your recruiter will be able to tell you if the company will reimburse you for the cost of the shoes/boots. If safety shoes are required, it will be your responsibility to have them with you on each workday. While some companies may not require the wearing of safety footwear, they may have a grooming policy related to open-toed shoes or sandals and painted toenails. Again, your recruiter will have specific information on shoe-related requirements for each job.
- Hair: Beards have become trendy once again, but some jobs may have specific safety requirements related to facial hair. Keeping your facial hair trimmed and neat is always a best practice. If shaving your facial hair off completely is a deal breaker, please let your recruiter know so your application is not submitted for jobs requiring a clean-shaven appearance. Some jobs may also require hair of a certain length to be neatly tied back and out of the way of your face.
- Fingernails: We have clients who have positions that require manual dexterity, and sometimes long fingernails can get in the way of those tasks, due to sanitary or safety concerns. If sacrificing the length of your nails is a deal breaker, please let your recruiter know, so they do send in an application for that particular position. Having clean, neat nails is another good practice for any type of job.
- Cleanliness: From time to time, our recruiters have had to remind job seekers to shower before going to work and to take precautions not to have body odors that some might find offensive. Keeping your body and hair clean is another best practice that applies to any type of job.
- Visible piercings and body art: Some companies might have tattoos and piercings listed as part of their dress code, but they can also apply to best practices in proper grooming in the workplace. Your recruiter will know if you will need to cover visible tattoos with a bandage or something else to keep it hidden, or if the job will require piercings to be removed or covered before going to work.
- Teeth: Brushing teeth and maintaining fresh breath is another best practice. If you are a smoker, keep in mind that some people do not want to smell smoke on your breath when having a conversation. Mints and gum are good to have on-hand.
- Clothing: Also for those who smoke or live with a smoker, your clothing may have a smoke smell on them and you may not realize it. Even if you are compliant with a company’s dress code, the grooming policy may still require your clothing to not be potentially offensive smelling to others. Additionally, several companies have adopted a smoke-free policy that restricts smoking on their premise. Your Recruiter will notify you if you have an interest in a job opportunity with these companies. Laundered, smoke-free clothing is another best practice.
- Jewelry: We work with many companies that perform technical work with various machines, and it may be company policy that dangling jewelry is not worn because it could be a safety hazard. Bracelets and necklaces can be potentially dangerous if they get caught in running machinery. Your Tech Needs recruiter will tell you if a job has any requirements related to jewelry.
Each company may have different standards and values when it comes to grooming, and it is our recruiters’ responsibility to inform you about varying requirements. One other thing to keep in mind is that some businesses may make changes to their grooming policy. If that is the case, your recruiter will keep you informed about updates that could affect you.