#4 - You may need a makeover. There, I said it.

This is the fourth of a six-part series that will highlight 6 things you can do, right now, to make your job search much, much more effective. If you've been struggling with a marginal-at-best job search for a while, it's time. If you're just setting off on your job search path? It's time. (Below there are more. Here's #4.)

When you are a job seeker, your appearance matters...plenty.

Specifically, your appearance matters when you walk into the lobby of a company to interview, or through the hiring manager's office door.

Do not shoot the messenger.

And don't believe those who insist they don't make decisions based on appearance. Because they probably do, even if they don't realize it.

You write paragraphs about yourself before you even open your mouth.

So consider... what are your first paragraphs?

If you've been landing interviews but, time and again, are not the selected candidate? It could be that your first paragraphs need work. And this work could involve your physical appearance.

Annoying? Sure. Unfair? Totally.

Real? Yes.

You have a choice. You can either be mad at the reality, or you can digest it, accept it and strategize accordingly.

Hint: the latter will likely land you a new job faster

We are socialized to make split-second decisions about people based on initial perceptions.

We value youth and vitality in our culture.

When you look vibrant and healthy? People think you are vibrant and healthy. Capable. Current. Smart.

Whether that's true is neither here nor there. It's what they think.

When you look outdated, worn down, tired?

People think that you're outdated, worn down, tired.

And they worry about how/if you'll be able to perform in the job.

You know you can do the job, don't you?

(dammit!)

Of course you can. And you'll maximize your chance of demonstrating this if you invest in your appearance.

Update your hair. Update your wardrobe. If you're a woman, get some makeup tips. If you're a dude, manage the facial hair (good grief, especially if it's coming out your nose or ears...)

If you need help, ask your most stylish friend to guide you along.

You want to win this game? Play it accordingly.

You ready to go full-on and land the job you truly want and deserve? Then stop flailing, and start planning. I can help you. On April 4, I will launch a new ebook, To Whom it May Concern: Or, How to Stop Sucking at Your Job Search. Consider it your job search BFF, all rolled into one tidy and affordable ebook. It'll walk you step-by-step through the process of calming down, crafting a game plan, and then executing a job search strategy that will actually work in today's crapola economy. If you're interested, be sure and sign up for the To Whom it May Concern mailing list.   I'll be offering all of my subscriber peeps a hearty discount on the goods during a pre-launch, which will go down in just a couple of weeks. See you over there!