Marketing Corner: The Power of Professional Presence - Part 2By Kimberly Alford Rice
Putting one's best foot forward (literally and figuratively) will get you noticed and heard quicker and more positively than showing up on shaky group in connection with your professional image. In the second installment below, I've addressed some helpful hints for guys to take note of for a stronger professional presence.
Shave before coming to work. Maybe that rugged look is in for young guys, but the workplace is not Abercrombie & Fitch, and you need to be well shaven.
Be well groomed – no long fingernails, no super gel hair, etc. It matters and others in roles of authority are noticing how you present yourself in the office.
Tuck your shirt neatly into your pants. The “shirt-tail out” look may be appropriate for many occasions, but definitely not in a professional environment.
Match socks to your pants (not to your belt or tie) to provide a continuous monochromatic presentation from your pants to your shoes.
Keep shoes in good shape. No mis-matched laces on the tie ups, or wearing any type of shoe which may resemble a sneaker, golf shoe, running shoe, etc. Invest in a sturdy pair of lace ups and a pair of “cordovan” (burgundy) loafers, and you’ll be well covered with most suits.
Be measured for your suits, even if you have only one. Wearing an ill-fitted suit negates the professional image you are trying to portray.
Along the professional journey, there will be plenty of times that “best practices” may elude you of feeling secure in your professional image. Easy to understand as there are rarely any “classes” in how to most effectively present your professional self. One way to allay some of the uncertainties is to look around and observe others more senior to you whom you respect and regard highly. How do they show up? Do they appear polished and refined?
Another option to “find” your professional style/image is to engage the services of a professional stylist/consultant. Many of the higher-end department stores (like Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor) offer these services. We also maintain a resources list of highly specialized experts who can also put you on the right path.
Regardless, remember, we have one shot at making the best first impression which may materially impact your professional success. Harness the power of professional image now to get and keep you on the right track.
Kimberly Alford Rice (firstname.lastname@example.org) is principal of KLA Marketing Associates.