How To Create A Professional Image To Impress
Image is everything in both business and especially in management – managers who look like someone who has just dropped in from the local rubbish tip seldom make any positive waves and are judged as such, regardless of what they actually do.
Would you arrive at an interview or important meeting looking like you had been out all night and then had a long sleep in your clothes?
A positive professional image is essential to a successful career, no matter your age or field. This focus falls upon the main areas below:
- Your clothing: how you look.
Your Body Language: how you hold and present yourself.
- Your attitude and behavior: how you think and act.
- Your conversation and choice of language: how effective your communication style works to engage with others.
Remember the following pointers when planning to impress:
- First impressions are critical. The very moment you present yourself decisions are being made about your competence and ability. This is done within three seconds so it HAS to be a positive impression. Once judgements are made and once these impressions form it is very hard to change them. Make sure that the first impressions of others are that you belong in that group of people and that you have something to say and to offer.
- It is all about having the right look! Dress like you belong and that you have career aspirations. Dress appropriately for the situation and the moment. What do successful people in that environment look like – once you know this follow their lead!
- Act the part. Be respectful and positive, confident (but not too confident!), friendly and approachable. Show that you can easily fit in with what is going on around you.
- Use your body language to full effect. You can manipulate your body language to inspire trust and support for your arguments. Walk positively, use good eye contact, use a firm handshake, sit up and stand up straight, smile and have an open body language style – never sit or stand with your arms folded!
- Work on your e-life to maximise a professional image. Everything you post and send on-line can, and will, be viewed including on-line material posted by your friends. Clean up your e-life. Do a search and take down anything that makes you look bad, and ask your friends to do the same. Do this regularly.
Your professional image involves the way you dress, speak, interact with others, hold your body, and use electronic media. Knowing the importance of image and the way others see you is the best way to project the professional image that will help you be successful.
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