When you think of professional image, the way you look may automatically come to mind. But your appearance is only part of the equation. Your attitude, behavior, environment and social presence all contribute to your professional image and overall brand. It’s beyond the style of clothes you wear, your hairstyle, or even the type of watch you wear. It’s important that you send a consistent message especially in the workplace. Otherwise, you may be compromising your credibility.
Here are five tips to help you shine:
Figure out a clothing style that works for you and the culture of your company. Don’t wear a suit one day and then jeans and a t-shirt the next day. You run the risk of not being taken seriously. It’s OK to mix up your wardrobe, but it needs to be professional and the same level of formality.
Maintain a consistent attitude. No one wants to promote someone who is negative especially during a challenging economy. Managers need their employees to do more with less. You want to be known as the person who steps to the plate and makes things happen.
Mind your manners. This may seem like a no-brainer but I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people disrespect each other in the workplace. Being courteous and saying thank you is very easy to do.
Keep your office organized and your car clean. Both places communicate subtle messages. They reflect what is happening in your life. If your office looks like a bomb just went off, people assume you have too much going on and may not be able to handle it. They may think you are unorganized or worse, lazy. The same holds true for your car.
Social Media: With the explosion of communication via social media it is equally important to manage your virtual image and brand. Just because people can’t see you in person doesn’t mean you should operate differently. You want to make sure you come across the same way as you would in person. If you want to be portrayed as a serious professional, then your photo, posts and comments need to reflect that image. Get a professional photo taken. The digital photo your friend took of you against a white wall doesn’t support a polished image.