In today’s workplace, security is as fleeting as a fad. Everyday men and women with years, even decades of seniority, lose their positions. How much harder then, is it for people who are trying to get into the workforce for the first time, or return after months or even years of absence. Women in particular have traditionally had a harder time than men.
Creating a Professional Image “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” It all starts with knowing how to create a winning first impression. Interview experts agree that your first impression is set in the mind of a prospective employer in less than 10 seconds; 55% is based on how you look and 38% on how you sound (your initial greeting and your voice). Only about 7% is based on what actually goes on in the interview. (Source: AICI) With this in mind, employment preparation must include a strategy to create an image that results in a winning first impression. Oftentimes, a lot of basic knowledge is not in place, so pointers are needed to polish the image.
They fall into three areas:
- Physical appearance — make-up, hair, business attire, impression -management
- Behavior — etiquette and code of conduct, social skills, stress - management
- Communication — body language, relationship building, communication - skills
Having a successful interview and getting that position or promotion will only go as far as building on your image every day. It all starts with a power wardrobe.
- Know your body shapes — there are approximately 6 body shapes i.e. hourglass, triangle etc.,
- Put the basic essentials in place — know your colors, suits should be basic neutral colors e.g. black, blue or grey suit, simple cotton pastel color blouse and comfortable pumps
- Accessorize with non-dangling earrings, a leather handbag, bracelet or necklace and remember no extra-large jewellery, you can enhance those essentials to build a power wardrobe.
- Hairstyle tips — that go with your face and body shape
- Make-up — that will enhance your look
- Other resources — workplace etiquette and personal development
“Image is everything” Outward appearance is a reflection of how we feel inside; how confident we are; how well we can perform. A makeover is a powerful experience, and one that helps you to feel in control. Your personality and physical characteristics should compliment each other. An appearance make over should be a lifestyle or a life changing experience.
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