Wearing sweatpants to the office and torturing co-workers with your bad breath aren’t going to get you that promotion. You also might want to reconsider that heavy blue eyeshadow and try showing up to work on time, according to a recent study from CareerBuilder.
Provocative clothing, a disheveled appearance, and unprofessional haircut are just a few of the things that cause employers to think twice before promoting employees, according to the national survey. Behaviors such as exhibiting a negative attitude, consistently arriving late, or gossiping can also work against them.
When asked which aspects of a worker’s physical appearance would make them less likely to promote that person, employers were most out of favor with provocative attire (44%) and wrinkled clothes or shabby appearance (43%).
Other answers include:
- Piercings outside of traditional ear piercings: 32%
- Attire that is too casual for the workplace: 27%
- Visible tattoos: 27%
- An unprofessional or ostentatious haircut: 25%
- Unprofessional or ostentatious facial hair: 24%
- Bad breath: 23%
- Heavy perfume or cologne: 21%
- Too much makeup: 15%
Employers also revealed the top behaviors that hurt an employee’s chances for promotion, with poor attitudes and consistent tardiness taking the top spot.
- Having a negative or pessimistic attitude: 62%
- Regularly showing up to work late: 62%
- Using vulgar language: 51%
- Regularly leaving work early: 49%
- Taking too many sick days: 49%
- Gossiping: 44%
- Spending office time on personal social media accounts: 39%
- Neglecting to clean up after himself/herself: 36%
- Always initiating non-work-related conversations with co-workers: 27%
- Taking personal calls at work: 24%
- Taking smoke breaks: 19%
“In addition to on-the-job accomplishments, employers also take attitude, behavior, and appearance into consideration when deciding who deserves to move up in the ranks,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “While your work performance may be strong, if you’re not presenting yourself in a professional manner, it may be preventing your superiors from taking you seriously.”
The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 11 to March 6, 2015, and included a representative sample of 2,175 hiring and human resource managers across industries and company sizes.