Whether you have a professional mentor you strive to be more like or you’re out hunting for a new job, upgrading your professional image will help you hit your career goals! Career Builder found in a study that when asked which aspects of a worker’s physical appearance would make them less likely to promote that person, employers were most out of favour with provocative attire (44 percent) and wrinkled clothes or shabby appearance (43 percent). Therefore, upgrading your professional appearance can certainly help you land that job or promotion and we have a few tips to help.
Tip # 1: Dress To Impress
Of course, you’ve heard this one before: dress for the job you want. Look to your mentor or your CEO and take notes on how they dress in the workplace. Observing and taking on a similar look can give you confidence and show your coworkers that you take your job seriously. We all tend to judge people on their look, so showing up to work in wrinkled clothing or dressed too casual will attract the wrong kind of attention. If you’re striving to hit a career goal or show more leadership in the office, then set yourself up for success from the moment you wake up by dressing for it!
Tip # 2: Clean Yourself Up
A huge part of your professional image is ensuring that you are neat and tidy. Again, having ironed and clean clothing helps with this, but showing up with bad breath or inappropriate hair will put all of your hard work right down the drain. Take your environment into consideration here - 15 percent of employers are turned off by too much makeup, according to the aforementioned study, and 25 percent aren’t in favor of an unprofessional haircut. Maybe for men it’s okay to have a longer beard, but if you feel like you need to go for a more formal look upgrade your workplace image by using high quality shaving products to get a close and clean shave for your facial hair. Always be comfortable and true to yourself, but ensuring you are clean and neat for your work will improve your professional image to those around you.
Tip # 3: Have Great Posture
Having bad posture can make you look tired and unenthusiastic. If you want to impress those you work with, it’s important to look excited and attentive at your job. Plus, having good posture when you’re actively working with others, whether it’s a meeting or just helping someone at their desk, helps you look fully engaged and interested in what’s going on. Not only will this help your professional image, it’s great for your health too. Bad posture inhibits your self confidence and lowers your energy levels - not good for work! If you’re at a computer all day, it’s easy to slouch down, but it’s better to sit up straight and keep your shoulders back and chin up to help avoid future back problems and keep you looking your best on the job.
Tip # 4: Speak Eloquently
Not only what you say, but how you say it has an effect on your professional image. It’s important to speak with intention, clarity and positive energy. Brush up on your professional language, this is another great to time to look to your mentor. Do they use proper English? Do they have a positive attitude? Whatever you like about their professional manner, pay attention to it. A great way to check yourself on this, is to record yourself. For example, if you have a big presentation coming up, record yourself practicing for it. Then try to make changes to what you don’t like, whether it’s your language, tone of voice, or your hand gestures. All of this makes a big difference in your professional image. Speaking eloquently shows those around you that you take pride in yourself and your job.
So there you have it. Four simple ways that you can upgrade your professional image. At the very least, these are just things to be mindful of. You can slowly start to incorporate these suggestions into your everyday and see the impact it has on you and those around you!
Editor's note: This piece is brought to you by Harry's. The team at Harry's is dedicated to helping others prepare for their next big career step. No matter what that step might be, being confident in your presentation is relevant for all.