August 3, 2017

How to Always Look Professional

Four professionally dressed men at a business event.
How Looking Professional Helps You Act Professional

Looking professional is about a lot more than what you wear, although dressing professionally certainly helps. Giving the impression that you’re confident, professional, and ready to do business is about the whole package. Everything from the way you communicate and your attitude, to your habits and yes, your physical appearance contributes to the way you are perceived by others and whether you’ll be taken seriously. The great news is: there are many easy ways to make sure you always come off professionally to others, so you can focus your attention on more complicated matters, like the content of your proposal or negotiating a great deal.

Here are some easy ways to always look professional:

Look Like You Belong: Whether you’re a new employee or visiting a client’s workplace for the first time, it can sometimes be unclear what “typical” business dress is.  If you’re unsure what to wear, consider doing a “drive by” or check the company’s social pages to make sure you dress to fit in culturally. Also, consider the type of business and industry. For example, a bank or insurance company is likely to be more formal and traditional than a game design studio or creative agency.

Be Dutiful to Details: The little things matter. Scuffed and worn out shoes can cheapen even the classiest business outfit, as can a jacket that’s too long or too baggy. While we certainly can’t all have unlimited budgets for business attire, having your favorite suit tailored to fit correctly can be done at a reasonable price, and it’s more than worth it. Also check to make sure your clothes aren’t faded or discolored.

Keep it Clean and Pressed: It may seem obvious, but making sure your business attire is clean and wrinkle free can go a long way toward making you appear polished and professional. If you’re a pet owner, make sure you have a lint roller in your car or briefcase to pick up Fluffy’s flyaway fur, and it’s always a good idea to have an extra button down shirt or blouse available for unexpected coffee spills.

Dress Up Rather Than Dress Down: We all want to look cool, but looking professional is even more important. Even if you’re headed to an interview or meeting at a company where you’re certain the culture is laid back, to make a good first impression it’s better to be a little overdressed than to look like you don’t take the meeting seriously by dressing down.

Respect People’s Time: Another easy way to always look professional is by respecting people’s time. It more than just being on time. It’s sometimes said that if you’re not early, you’re late, and that’s a great rule to live by because being on time can easily make or break an important meeting. People take their time seriously, because as you probably know, time is money. Being on time tells the other person you respect them, and you value their time, while being late gives the impression you’re not dependable, don’t care, or that you think your time is more important than theirs. Plan your day realistically, allowing time for breaks and for changing locations when necessary.  When you have back to back meetings, make sure to end on time rather than running over. It’s always better to schedule a follow up than to keep your next meeting waiting.

Come Prepared: Always have your notes ready to go before an important meeting or conference call, and never show up hungover or exhausted. Much like being on time, being properly prepared shows you take the meeting seriously, and it implies you’re organized and capable.

Maintaining professional demeanor is just as important as wearing a wrinkle-free blazer. Click To Tweet

Watch Your Attitude: Maintaining professional demeanor is just as important as wearing a wrinkle-free blazer. Be positive and diplomatic, and avoid speaking negatively about former employers or complaining about projects. Accept challenges and new tasks with grace, cleanse your vocabulary of inappropriate curse words, and never ever tell raunchy jokes or curse in a professional environment.   

Portray Confidence and Respect: Learn how to put on a professional game face by always smiling and making eye contact during meetings or introductions to clients, while seemingly small gestures, these physical cues help you appear more confident and engaged. Prove you’re focused on the project at hand by turning off your phone ringer, listening when others speak, and by avoiding checking the clock more than necessary.

Making an effort to look professional is an easy way to build a reputation as someone who’s on your game. Click To Tweet

Making a little extra effort to always look professional is an easy way to build your reputation as someone who’s always on your game. Employers like to hire candidates who make them look good, and they like to promote employees who will set a great example for others. In negotiations and other business dealings, looking professional instills trust and confidence in your abilities that can help you close the deal. It can help you build rapport as well, by demonstrating to the other party that they are important to you. Taking these few simple steps to create a more professional appearance and attitude is one of the simplest things you can do to help catapult your career.

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We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales services located in Agoura Hills, Calif. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation as the global leader in outsourced sales, Cydcor takes pride in having exceptional sales professionals and providing our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.