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Monday
Jul022012

Creating a Professional Image: It’s More than Dressing for Success

Your professional image is an essential part of your career search and your subsequent career. Even in an era of largely informal business settings - coffee shop meetings and video conferences - and informal business dress codes - “business casual” and casual Friday - a professional image is still expected.

Your professional image isn’t simply about how you look, however. When you exceed expectations and hit your deadlines, you build up your image. When you miss work, take phone calls during business meetings or gossip about fellow employees you tear it down. In other words, it’s the entire set of impressions that people in the workplace have of you, and it affects how well you will be treated, the responsibilities you will be entrusted with, and your chances for promotion.

Take Steps to Build a Positive Professional Image

Because your professional image is so important and is affected by so many of your actions, it’s worthwhile to know what you can do to create and maintain a great professional image. As you read through these suggestions, it’s helpful to think of the process of building your professional image as personal branding. You’re building your brand, and it’s an important investment in your career.

Remain Positive

People as a rule respond well to positive people. Always see the glass as half full no matter how negative the environment may be. Maintaining a positive attitude is part of emotional intelligence. Staying positive, and for that matter forward-thinking, lays the foundation for you to build powerful and strong relationships at work.

Dress for Success

Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. This is the standard adage, and it’s still true. Even on casual days, you don’t have to be a slouch, you can still present an image of someone your colleagues can depend and rely on.

Read the rest of our tips in Creating a Professional Image: It's More than Dressing for Success, available in our FREE whitepaper library.

 

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