Right now, there are two important things in your life—your beard and your career. You’ve spent an inordinate amount of time growing a beard, and you’re proud of it. But as you ponder the next steps in your career, you wonder if beards and jobs are mutually exclusive. For decades, the image of the eager interviewee has been defined by a clean-shaven guy in a suit. However, as workplace taboos melt away and beards become even more interwoven into everyday life, is there still a singular look for a job interview? Does getting the job of your dreams mean shaving your beard?
Where Are You Interviewing?
While there isn’t one correct answer to this question, there is one correct way to figure out what’s right for your situation. Investigate your potential new company. Conservative workplaces are forever tied to tradition. And, you guessed it, facial hair isn’t part of that tradition. But more creative industries provide more flexibility.
“In fashion and beauty it’s very acceptable, but in the more conservative fields of finance or law it’s not,” said executive recruiter Kate Benson, in an interview with the New York Post. The times are changing but not everywhere.
Before shaving your beard and ruining months (or even years) of hard work, take the time to study the company culture. What are its values? Is there a dress code? Who works there already and how do they dress? Are there reviews on Glassdoor that could clue you in? Don’t make any hasty decisions without doing your homework.
If You Decide You’re Not Shaving Your Beard
Let’s say you’ve done extensive research and found out that even the CEO sports some heavy stubble. You’re in luck. But this doesn’t mean you can show up for the interview looking like Rip Van Winkle. Some beard trimming is definitely in order.
Whether your industry is a little flexible or unfathomably creative, you still need to make a great impression during your interview process. You could possess all the charm in the world but if your look isn’t pulled together, you could falter easily.
First up, the beard trimming. This is mainly a time to clean up your neck and cheek lines. Some guys can get away with natural growth, sans lines. Even if you’re one of them, you still need to spruce things up. Don’t get aggressive, as you don’t want to sacrifice your growth. Just trim enough to make the edges look neat. If you aren’t confident enough in your own skills, get an appointment with your barber stat.
The Morning Of
So, full disclosure, you should have an ongoing beard care routine in place long before you book a job interview. Though the morning of your appointment is crucial. A beard trim means nothing if your hair is brittle, dry, and filled with flakes. The overall appearance and cleanliness of your beard matters, too.
This is where your stable of beard products comes in handy. Think of beard oil as your best friend. It moisturizes your hair and the skin underneath, keeping it nice and soft. It gives your beard hair a natural sheen. All the while, it encourages healthy growth and aids in both detangling and styling. If you’ve got time, work up a rich lather with some beard shampoo. But if not, your beard oil will be more than enough. Just a dime-sized dab will keep you in great shape for showtime.
When it comes to shaving your beard for a job interview, do your research before you pick up a razor. And, if you decide to keep it, make sure it’s groomed to perfection.