Monday, September 17, 2007

10 Steps to Accessing the Power of Your Personal and Professional Image

The moment we see people, we make judgments about them. Our initial, split-second contact with a person is eye-to-body. We look at their face and clothes first, and evaluate them on a scale of attractiveness and whether we consider them friendly or threatening; but it doesn’t stop there. Immediately after that, we start making evaluations about their character, temperament and professional abilities. Whether we like it or not, our appearance speaks volumes about us before we say a word. Hence, your image needs to say that you are professional, credible, trustworthy and likeable. Here are 10 tips to help achieve this:

1. Your verbal and non-verbal communication styles must be consistent. Your appearance is your most powerful non-verbal communication tool. Consistency breeds trust; make sure that your body language and appearance are consistent with your message. Unless the language of the body synchronizes with your words, you will convey a hollow message at best, and an uncomfortable, dishonest one at worst.

2. A pantsuit adds instant authority and easy elegance to every woman’s wardrobe. Pair it with a classic white shirt and pumps for the boardroom or with a tank top and heels for a more relaxed look.

3. Don’t wear clothes that are uncomfortable or do not reflect your personal style. Regardless of your personality and lifestyle, there are options available in building a professional wardrobe. Fashion-411 has an easy to use fashion personality quiz to help you make these choices. Email us at to request your copy.

4. As a businesswoman, you should project an image of professionalism while maintaining an updated and modern appearance. Purchase Trend or Trend-Classic combination garments that have been around long enough not to look faddish, yet create a current and fashionable image. If you wear all classics, you run the risk of appearing old fashioned. If you wear nothing but the latest fads, you appear to be victim to the whim of fashion. Trend or Trend-Classic styles will stand the test of time and are worth the investment.

5. Adding trendy accessories to an outfit is an inexpensive and simple way to convert a traditional classic look into a conservatively fashionable one.

6. Use the 8-count rule when choosing accessories. If you count the number of points of interest you have on your total outfit, the number should not exceed 8. Include belts, decorative buttons, rings, earrings, watches, glasses, pins, necklaces, embroidery, bracelets and shoe ornaments.

7. Invest in the right jacket. Every woman needs at least one great jacket that she can wear with jeans, slacks or a skirt. Even in a more casual work atmosphere, a high-quality casual jacket looks professional and works well for that last minute meeting when worn with a nice pair of trousers or over a dress.

8. Your hairstyle is the most important accessory you wear each day. Invest in an attractive, basic design and weight distribution, a professional color and cutting technique. A good haircut will pay off in easy maintenance and a polished appearance.

9. When available, purchase all three pieces to a suit – jacket, skirt and pants. This interchangeable set will make packing for a business trip much easier.

10. When visiting a company, find out what their dress code is so that you can dress accordingly. If the company has a casual dress environment, and your dress style is too corporate, you may be judged as formal or stuffy. If, on the other hand, they have a more traditional dress environment and you come dressed too casually, you stand the risk of not being taken seriously.


Post a Comment

<< Home