Professional people need to have a professional image. The way you present yourself to others plays a significant part in how seriously they take you. You have to ask to be respected and trusted by presenting yourself as someone who should be. The way that you look, act and speak can all affect how others see you. And a professional image is more likely to draw the attention of all the right people. You want to gain a reputation for the right reasons, and not for being rude or unprofessional. If you need to improve your image in the business world, you should concentrate on the techniques below.
Branding You: 5 Ways to Improve Your Professional Image
Although some people might wish it wasn’t, being professional is often all about how you look. While you can be a business-savvy person in jeans and a t-shirt, you will often be taken more seriously in a suit. However, it’s all about context. If you dress too formally when attending a casual event, you’re only going to stick out like a sore thumb. You probably won’t do yourself any favours by turning up to an interview with a trendy company in a suit. Sometimes formal dress is appropriate, but there are often times when you should tone it down too.
Having everything together will give you more of a professional air. It’s difficult to command respect if you’re always scatter-brained and disorganized. If you want to appear more professional, you should try to be as organized as possible. This could involve a number of things, including making a point to be punctual for events and appointments. Sometimes it could just mean having useful information on you, such as business cards. Even just carrying a pen or having your phone with you at all times can make you look more organized.
Make the Right Moves
Your body language can affect how you’re perceived too. Working on it to present a more confident and open image can help you. You might not give a lot of thought to how you stand, sit or gesture while you talk. But these things are used as cues to assess your thoughts and intentions. For example, it’s better to stand up straight with your shoulders back than to cross your arms over your chest. The latter looks closed off and reserved, while the former is more open. Using your hands to gesture while you’re talking can keep people engaged, but too much of it could be distracting.
Pay Attention to Your Online Reputation
Don’t forget, a large part of how you present yourself now takes place online. It’s important to control your online reputation too, which can be difficult to do. You need to take charge of your online profile if you want to come across professionally. Otherwise, your reputation online could be based on what other people say about you. It’s much better if you can have the most influence.
Your professional image will help you to network with others, and to find more work. Spend time working on it to improve your reputation.