CREATING THE RIGHT image is almost as vital to landing the right job as a convincing CV. This means more than simply wearing an 'interview suit' when showing up for a job interview. Besides your clothes, you should think about your hair, accessories and - if you are a woman - wearing the right amount of makeup. 'Personal branding is an important part of an interview,' said Lynne Marks, founder of the London Image Institute. 'Even after you have been short-listed, there will be at least six other candidates with the same background and experience for the job as you. So you have to differentiate yourself. You can do that through what you say, how you ask questions and the way you look. 'The decision to offer you the job is often made before you have even sat down. The issue is whether you look like you will fit in or not,' Ms Marks said. The first step is to create an image consistent with what is on your resume. 'The person interviewing you will already have built up an expectation about how you look before you arrive,' Ms Marks said. 'If, when you walk through the door, you are inconsistent in the interviewer's mind with the skills, talent and experience you have put on your CV, you will lose credibility.' The second step is to find out something about the company culture, and dress accordingly. Moderation in the way you project yourself is always advisable. 'It is always good to be on the conservative side. When in doubt, wear a suit. You never want to appear too casual.' The third step is planning ahead. While it is important for your clothes to be properly pressed, they should not look as though they have just been taken out of the package. You want people to think that this is the way you dress all the time. The same goes for haircuts - never wait until the last minute. 'If you have a haircut the day before the interview, it will show,' Ms Marks said. 'You should have your hair cut several days before, so it will have grown out a bit and look natural.' Men should avoid patterns or button-down shirts, which can appear too casual. 'I would recommend straight collars and conservative colours such as white, grey or blue. Trousers should not be too short, ties should hit the middle of the belt buckle and socks should be darker than the trousers - never white.' She said women should wear skirt and jacket suits for conservative companies, but trouser suits were acceptable as long as they were tailored. 'Hair should not be too long and should be a natural shade.' Women who wear makeup tend to earn higher salaries - so do not forget the lipstick. 'Studies show that women who wear makeup earn an average of 30 per cent more than those who do not,' Ms Marks said.