You may have been taught to “never judge a book by its cover,” but in the professional world, personal appearance can be a defining factor in how others perceive you. Studies have shown that people make decisions and form opinions about others within the first 30 seconds of meeting them. During this short window of time, your appearance and the message it communicates go a long way toward creating a positive, professional first impression. Take a look at our three simple tips for improving your professional appearance:
- Dress for Success: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” is a common piece of advice. While this doesn’t mean you should completely go against the dress code of your current position, dressing a little more formally can go a long way towards projecting professionalism and confidence. Dress codes have become increasingly relaxed in recent years, but if you want to project a strong, professional image, resist the temptation to favor comfort over professionalism. Even on “casual Fridays” or other events that call for business casual attire, err on the side of dressing too formally rather than too casually. Of course, what qualifies as “formal” or “casual” may vary based on your industry!
- Don’t Forget Grooming: Your personal appearance isn’t just your clothing. Personal hygiene and grooming contribute greatly to your overall image. Make sure that your hair is neat and professional looking. If you’re a man, keep your facial hair groomed. If you wear make-up, consider the amount and style you’re wearing and if it is a good match for your workplace or corporate culture.
- Watch Your Body Language: Body language plays a significant role in how others perceive you. Try to make a habit of checking in with yourself on a regular basis to note how you’re standing or sitting. A slumped posture can indicate insecurity, incompetence, or just plain laziness. Standing and sitting with strong posture will project an image of confidence, professionalism, and control. Avoid fidgeting (i.e., playing with things on your desk) and maintain strong, confident eye contact when speaking with someone.
Want to learn more? Give us a call and see how Corporate Speech Solutions can take your team and your company to the next level! Call us at 212-308-7725 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
If your communication skills are holding you back from professional success and you want to make your communication skills your most powerful professional tool, make sure to pick up a free copy of my e-book “Communicate with Clarity and Confidence!” by subscribing to our newsletter community on our website. In this free resource, I break down the myriad factors that contribute to confident communication and guide you through how to use each aspect to your advantage.
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