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Impression Management – Professional Image 101

(Tips from the Real Talk radio show on Saturday – October 26th in honor of the Magic City Classic).

The proper mix of 3-P’s:
 Preparation
 Presentation
 Protocol

Interview “Ready”
Always Bet on Black
Select / Purchase at least 2 interview “uniforms”
Short on Cash? Try consignment or thrift shops
Keep your garments cleaned / dry cleaned.
Ironed / Lint Free

Clothes have an expiration date.
Rid your professional wardrobe of anything more than five years old, except for a couple investment pieces (usually over $100 retail price).
This will ensure that you are rid of dated shapes and any fabrics that might not appear fresh.

Fit is a factor.
Too tight or too big?
Rid your closet of those pieces you hope to fit back into one day and those bigger pieces that you have been “meaning” to take to the tailor.

Body Odor
 Practice good hygiene. Bathe or shower daily.
 Use deodorant and sweat absorbing powders.
 Brush teeth, floss and use mouthwash.
 (use a mint prior to your interview)

Body Art
• Recognize that a tattoo or a brand is a permanent marking on your body.
• Give strong consideration to size and location of tattoos.
• Give strong consideration to body piercing, specifically tongue, nose and eyebrow areas.
• If you have them, cover them up!!!!!!!
• Avoid heavy makeup, bright colors, etc.
• Know that some employers, based on business design and culture, can demand removal or deny employment based on personal appearance.

• Stick with “acceptable or traditional” styles – especially while interviewing.
• Avoid “over the top” styles, cuts, and colors.
• Practice daily grooming.
• Weekly haircuts, if required.
• Men – some employers can demand absence of facial hair.

Other Body Parts
• Blow / clean your nose
• Trim facial hair (eyebrows, ears, etc)
• Clean / manicured nails (remove exotic nail designs)

Know The Dress Code
• Business (Suit, tie, dress, stockings)
• Casual (khaki pants, button down or golf shirt, blouse)
• Mandatory Uniforms (Honda, McDonalds)
• Unspecified (See what the majority of others wear – when in doubt – ask)
• Questionable:
 Shorts, jeans, halter tops, flip flops, jogging suits, etc.

Other Appearance Do’s & Don’ts
• Take pride in your personal appearance.
• Invest adequate time in grooming, preparation, etc.
• Dress for the job you want – not for the job you have.
• Explain unforeseen circumstances with your attire. (Tide commercial)
• Think it does not matter.

Don’t forget to listen to me each Saturday morning as part of the Real Talk Crew – 102.1 FM or I Heart Radio 7am – 9am for more business and career tips!!!

Melva – The Career Coach



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