When you ask someone what crucial steps you can take towards finding a job in these hard times, having a six month orthodontics treatment is not something you’d expect to hear. After all, there are CVs that need polishing, cover letters that need to be customised, suits to be dry-cleaned and skills to be learnt. Why on earth would anyone be worrying about their teeth in a time like this?
The answer is surprisingly simple. Why do you spend so much time not only writing your cv, but making sure that it’s free from typos, well formatted and well laid out? You do it because it shows that you care about the position you are applying for, to show that you take yourself and your career seriously. It’s for a similar reason that you make sure that your breath is fresh and your hair is clean and neat. Your appearance creates an immediate impression when you first enter an interview, and if you can’t wow a prospective employer at that point, you may never get another chance. If you walk into an interview and flash some bad teeth, what are you saying about yourself? That you’re irresponsible, or lazy, or that you don’t value appearances at all. It can be an immediate turnoff for any employer. Whilst you may not agree with these judgements, it’s inevitable that some people will make them about you and you will be affected by them.
You may think: “I don’t need perfect teeth, as long as I’m good at my job.” That’s fine, if you’re never meeting clients or in a position where a good appearance is not traditionally expected of you. If you’re working in many other situations though, you give off an impression of your company. It’s similar logic to the one that makes headteachers fret so much about children wearing school colours after the day has finished: if you can easily be identified as part of an organisation, you appearance is a reflection of them, even if you are just the guy that makes sure that the copying machine is never out of toner.
This isn’t just speculation. Studies have shown that people with poor teeth, no matter how charming or competent are often overlooked for jobs or promotions due to their poor standards of dental hygiene. Everyone has a horror story of how someone they thought was perfect for a job was discriminated against because of the state of their teeth or a similar sort of thing. From a manager’s point of view, it’s a situation where no one wins. You can’t employ someone who isn’t up to scratch because they’re going to reflect badly on the company.
First impressions, no matter how vain or superficial, count. We may one day get to a point where they don’t and people are judged purely on merit, but for now you have to be realistic. Getting a six month orthodontics treatment may not seem like the most important thing in the world, but it’s these little things that can make all the difference. Would you turn up for an interview for unshined shoes or a wrinkled shirt?
Elleven Dental Orthodontics Six Months Treatment