One of my first jobs was working in a boutique recruitment agency where I reported to the Managing Director. She was a very knowledgeable businesswoman who I always respected and looked up to.

She closely mentored me not only in my work, but on workplace “life lessons” which at the time sounded like they were very unimportant. I always followed her instruction though and over the years I have become grateful for the life lessons.

She would remind me to never wear a skirt without stockings, to ensure nail polish was of soft neutral colours and most importantly you never wear chipped nail polish. These days I sometimes wear black nail polish, however I understand what she was teaching me now and that’s what I want to share with you.

Always take pride in your presentation, because you are being judged. If you take pride in yourself, people will assume you take pride in your work. If your workspace and indeed your personal presentation is untidy, you may be someone who completes rough drafts and doesn’t take the time to polish your work. I know what some people are thinking, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Sure, we all want to find the good in people and let people be true to themselves at work though the reality is you don’t always have the opportunity to let people see your strengths.

Over the years, I have conducted hundreds of interviews, worked with thousands of people in multiple companies across multiple sectors and can say even though we don’t want to judge a book by its cover, we often do. Our first impression is sometimes the only impression we are able to make.

Put your best foot forward and dress to impress every day, because you never know who you might meet and who might be judging you.