5 Tips to Projecting a Strong Professional Image
Monday, 24 January 2011 11:19

Have you recently read that UBS gave their corporate dress code a makeover? Honestly, I think this is great because first impressions count and when you go to work you are representing not only yourself but also your company.

The article published by efinancial news on January 18, 2011, indicated that UBS is rolling out this makeover program to five pilot branches as a test following a recent advertising campaign aimed at re-establishing confidence in the bank’s brand while mending relationship with their clients.

So what does this mean to you? Rightly or wrongly, on first impressions you will most likely be judged on:

- How credible and professional you come across
- How likable you are
- Whether a person considers you attractive
- How confident you seem to be

The clothes you wear will directly affect how others feel, think and act towards you. So if you’re working in a bank or a very reputable company, you will need to clearly understand the company’s dress code. Let’s face it: the informal look in any corporate environment is simply unacceptable and most probably damaging your career. For men, you don’t have to wear a tuxedo, but wearing a nice suit and tie will go a long way compared to a polo t-shirt and slacks. For women a nice corporate black dress or even a knee length suit skirt and a pair of good heels will definitely give you a boost over other female colleagues who wear flip flops to work.

5 tips to help you project a strong professional image

1. Check the Corporate Dress Code. Understand what is considered acceptable in your company for every day work wear. Each industry is different so check your company guidelines to ensure that you upkeep and adhere to the level of professionalism required through your choice of clothes.

2. Invest in Your Wardrobe.
Consider your wardrobe as an investment in your career. By looking sharp not only builds your confidence but also other people’s perception that you can do the job.

3. Be aware of the quality of your clothes.
Do you have items where the buttons are loose, threads hanging, or even holes in them? If so, get them fixed or don’t wear them. It’s the detail in your outfits that describe you as a professional.

4. Check your personal hygiene. Bad breath, yellow teeth, food stuck in your teeth, untidy hair, body odour, sweaty palms, too strong cologne or perfume, — the list goes on! — can leave a negative impression in other people’s minds.

5. Observe and Ask for Feedback. Look around you and observe what your colleagues and managers are wearing. Ask your friends, family and those who personally care about you and your career what they think of your image and dress sense. If you’re unsure of how to create a wardrobe that projects a strong professional image, consult an image consultant who can assist with giving your work outfits a boost.

At the end of the day, your career is in your hands. What you wear will have a direct impact of how people feel, think and act towards you. So why not start projecting a strong professional image and leave a great impression on others?


#4 Consultant 2011-03-09 19:34
Yes....but dress is only 1 of the 5 observable behaviours that create the first impression. not only do you need to dress appropriately/confidently etc etc. you need to pay attention to the other 4, namely:
Facial gestures
Body Language
Voice (tone etc.)
Words used
If you consider all 5 then you can create the right impression, which may lead to a strong professional image.
#3 RE: 5 Tips to Projecting a Strong Professional Image FlorG 2011-01-25 12:30
Even though I'm a designer because I hold a Senior level position I dress well everyday for work. Obviously I don't go as formal as people that work in banks but I feel that in my position I should lead by the example (not that in China matters). At least if a client comes to the office last minute (as they do very often), I'm always prepared.
#2 RE: 5 Tips to Projecting a Strong Professional Image julia 2011-01-25 09:32
Being a designer I love the fact that I don't need to wear corporate clothes anymore. I had into in Australia when I was a sales rep, but these days casual is the dress code... Well unless I have a client meeting and then I adopt all of the things above.

Great article Natalie.
#1 RE: 5 Tips to Projecting a Strong Professional Image Kaatje 2011-01-24 21:20
Though not really relevant in my profession, I like your writing Natalie!
(I only need to make sure that I can play in my outfit, shoot hoops and stuff like that... no cute dresses or nice business suits for me!)

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