how to land your next job

Why Your Professional Image Is Essential To Landing Your Next Position

Wondering how to find your next job? Your professional image is a very important step and is essential to landing your next position.

Your credentials can put you into consideration for a promotion or a new position, but they aren’t going to be enough to seal the deal. To secure a new job or advance in your career, it takes a combination of both skill and image.

People subconsciously link a positive professional image with the ability to exceed on the job. Your professional image is essential in being perceived as likable, competent, and trustworthy. These are all personality traits that can be the tie-breaker between you and another candidate when being considered for a job.

In order to successfully get ahead, consider these essential tips on improving your professional image.

Dress for the job you want

Many people will infer aspects of your personality based on what you wear. If you’re dressed in swim trunks and a tank top, someone may assume you’re either on vacation, headed to the beach, or enjoy swimming. If you’re dressed in a button-down shirt and khakis, it’s a safe assumption that you’re a competent professional on the way to work. The clothes you choose to wear have a major impact on the image you project, which makes curating a professional wardrobe incredibly important.

Adjust your wardrobe to match with the expected dress code for the job you want. Looking the part will not only work to build up your professional image, but it also has a positive effect on your self-confidence. When you have confidence in yourself, you’re empowered to achieve your goals.

If you’re striving for a promotion, match the dress code for that position. If you’re dressing for an interview, ask about the company’s dress code policy and go one step above it. Whatever your working wardrobe is, you should always be dressing to impress.

Keep up your personal appearance

An important part of maintaining a professional image is maintaining and enhancing your personal appearance. Enhancing your appearance is all about building sustainable self-care habits. It’s essential to remember the smaller details when practicing self-care, whether it’s managing your skincare routine, keeping your nails clipped, or maintaining your hairstyle. Having an eye for detail makes you look more polished overall and doesn’t go unnoticed by co-workers.

Besides grooming, you should take care of your body through a regular sleep schedule, a well-balanced diet, and a long-term fitness routine. You should address areas of your appearance that make you feel self-conscious, as they can have a negative effect on your overall confidence. For example, if your hairline is thinning or receding, you can utilize a hair-loss medication such as finasteride to improve your hair growth. No matter what your beauty concern is, there are a variety of options to address it and improve your image.

Improve your likeability factor

Your likeability is perhaps the most important part of your professional image, as it plays a major role in your odds of a promotion or landing a new job. People gravitate towards those they can relate to and connect with on a personal level, especially in the workplace.

You don’t have to be the guy who brings in donuts every Friday to be seen as likable. If anything, you might be seen as a brown-noser. Your likeability factor is determined by four main aspects: friendliness, relevance, empathy, and authenticity.

Making an effort to be friendly goes a long way in building positive relationships and forming good impressions with others. Be self-conscious of your demeanor by trying to stay positive, open, and welcoming in any working or interview situation.

Relevance and empathy go hand-in-hand, as both are about being able to connect with and discuss another person’s interests, feelings, wants, or needs. To accomplish this, always take the time to consider another person’s perspective outside of your own and broaden your interest-based to effectively speak on a variety of subjects.

The Bottom Line

When making an effort to improve your likeability, remember to stay authentic to your core personality. There’s a difference in making an effort to relate to people and being disingenuous in order to get ahead, and you’ll effectively work against yourself if your efforts aren’t genuine.