It’s the New Year and perhaps you’re considering a new career path for 2021. You won’t be alone, as there are many people seeking employment at this time. Presenting yourself in a professional manner is more important now than ever. It will significantly increase your chances of being remembered by the employer and give you the competitive edge you need to get hired!
There are many ways to project a more professional image without straining your budget. These are savvy and affordable steps you can take in person and online that will help you impress a prospective employer.
1. Dress conservatively. For most industries, dressing conservatively is the safest choice. Have at least two well-tailored interview suits and make sure your shoes are polished. Limit yourself to one or two attractive and understated accessories. If you’re applying for a job in a less formal field, a light-colored shirt, dark-colored slacks, and a blazer work best.
2. Practice your handshake. Extend your hand and briefly grasp the other person’s palm without squeezing. This may not be possible with the current social distancing procedures that are in place. Either way, say hello and state your name. Smile and make eye contact. Your nails should be clean and manicured. Choose semi-transparent colored nail polish.
3. Send thank you letters. Remember your thank you letters. It’s okay to use email if your handwriting isn’t really legible. Send letters promptly and mention something specific and sincere for which you are grateful. Be sure to check your spelling and grammar before you send your letters.
4. Remove body piercings. Piercings are becoming more common, but err on the side of caution. Take them out for interviews.
5. Cover up tattoos. Your new boss may be a fan of tattoos, but it’s wise to keep them under wraps until you get a job offer and you know they’re acceptable in your new workplace.
1. Google yourself. Google your name to see what comes up. If you have a common name, you may need to add a location, profession or other details. If possible, ask others to delete any content that may reflect negatively on you. If that fails, post positive information to push the negatives off of the front pages.
2. Set up Google alerts. Stay on top of your online presence by setting up a Google alert with your name. This will enable you to quickly see any new content.
3. Optimize your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn may be the most important social media tool for job hunters. Get the most out of it by adding more connections and asking others to give you recommendations.
4. Check your Facebook privacy settings. You can still have a private life. Just be vigilant about who you share personal information with.
5. Consider creating a website or blog. High quality websites and blogs cost little or nothing now. Showcase your achievements.
6. Use your real name for email. Make it easy for people to stay in touch by using your real name as your email. If your current email is a zany nickname, you may want to get a new one.
7. Promote yourself with your email signature. Your email signature is like free advertising. Come up with a tagline that will make people want to know more about you.
8. Set up a professional voicemail greeting. Keep it simple. Speak clearly and give your full name.
9. Edit your ringtones. Even if you turn your phone off during interviews, select your ringtones to convey a positive message about you. Avoid anything controversial.
10. Post a professional photo. Hire a professional photographer to get the best results for an important image like the one you use on your website.
Present yourself in your best light with a professional image that tells employers you’ll be a valuable addition to their team. Enhancing your presence in both the offline and digital worlds can be done simply by following these tips and without spending a fortune.
Lynette Jones is a professional image consultant. She focuses on the “ABCs” of a great image – Appearance, Behavior and Communication. Visit Her website at www.whenstylematters.com