How to Present a Clean Image When Applying for a Job

Category : interview skills

The factors that affect whether or not you get a certain job can vary. Certain companies are looking for certain demographics. However, no matter what position you are applying for, it’s very important that you present only your very best self.

Dress Well for the Interview

Dressing smartly and appropriately makes a huge difference. Why? This is the employer’s first impression of you. If they are immediately met with something that unsettles them, disappoints them, or in any way turns them off, that will be the lingering perception in their head – even if you prove yourself to be better afterward. If they are met with something that makes them feel approval, that will be the lens through which they filter the rest of the interview – even if you make some mistakes. All around, it’s always in your best interest to dress appropriately for the company culture that you are applying to.

Clean Up Your Social Media

 A huge majority of modern American individuals use social media – especially younger individuals. Thus, about 50% of employers check the social media accounts of candidates. This gives the employer a glimpse into the personal lives of the individual. They see how they act, how they talk to others, and what they do for fun. A lot of people have material on their social media that could be embarrassing or compromising – maybe even you. That’s not the end of the world, but it does mean that you’re probably going to want to go back through your most often used social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) and you should delete such material before you apply.

Practice for the Interview

Appearances are only one side of the coin. You’ve also got to show that you’ve got what it takes to be a successful employee. While you can and should present a resume in the most positive light possible, you’re going to need to prove what’s on the paper through conversation. Make eye contact and smile. Give a firm (but not excruciatingly tight) handshake if offered. Many employers ask similar questions (e.g., “what is your greatest weakness?”) so try and research beforehand what typical questions might be asked at this kind of job. Prepare your answers accordingly.

Preparation really is key. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive for the interview. Feeling nervous is natural, but your nervousness will diminish the more interviews you experience. Be confident in what you have to offer.

Check out this article on high-paying trades you should look into!

What Can I Do to Make Getting Hired More Likely?

Tremendous frustration sets in when your landing employment proves difficult. For someone with a criminal record, an added obstacle could further drag down the chances for opportunities. Don’t become despondent, though — there’s still hope. Your approach to finding a job might just need to change a little. By following a few strategic steps, you might discover job offers coming through.


Cliches along the lines of “It’s who you know” and “Search the hidden job market” are partially true. Not every company publicly advertises job opportunities, so you must look beyond the classified ads. Networking helps the cause of locating unadvertised jobs or getting a referral for employment.

Networking involves trying to meet people who can lend direct or indirect assistance. Joining a club or organization related to your hobbies, interests, and professional pursuits may lead to meeting people who could help. Perhaps a support group for persons with bad experiences in the justice system might be worth joining. The key here is you meet people face-to-face. 

See if You Can Get Your Records Expunged

Would-be employees may perform a background check on prospective employees. They look at the credit score, civil judgments, and criminal records. As unfair as it may be, an employer might choose not to look favorably on someone with a conviction. If the sentence disappears from public records, however, the information won’t show up in a background check. Depending on state law and the person’s circumstances, a record could be expunged. Once expunged, the record is wiped clean.

Granted, some crimes are serious enough that it has been determined that they are too serious to warrant expungements. Don’t make any assumptions, however, about your record. Perhaps it is best to speak with someone who understands the law as it relates to expungements. This way, you likely discover what your options are.

Explore Volunteer Work

Volunteer work contributes to the experience section of your resume. Paid or not, work is work. By volunteering to help a charitable organization, for example, you could expand your experience and build new skills. Also, any volunteer work for a good cause might craft a favorable impression.

No one knows how a particular employee will perceive someone with a record. Nor can anyone determine if charitable or volunteer work can create positive impressions. Performing volunteer work, however, likely delivers something positive.

Obstacles exist so people can overcome them. A job search comes with difficulties. Even though things appear tough, keep persevering until things work out in your favor!


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