How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

This piece was written by a member of the Debut Student Publisher Network. Want to make a good impression on work experience? There are several things it can be worth thinking about, says Zaki.

The working world is becoming increasingly competitive. Therefore, it’s fairly uncommon for companies to take people on after a week’s work experience. But it happens. You might get lucky with your timing. Plus, if they do have the opportunity to employ someone full-time, you want to put yourself in a position to stand a chance of getting it. If you don’t, you’ll still want to make a positive impression in case other opportunities pop up. I got three months of paid work from a magazine whose editors got to know me when I’d done work experience there a year earlier.

You also want to make sure that you get the most out of your placement. This can be in the form of contacts, other opportunities and/or transferable skills. Here are some tips on how to achieve some of the above.

Try hard but don’t make it look like you’re trying too hard

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

Make yourself available as much as possible throughout your placement. Complete tasks quickly and efficiently to show you’re productive, but do them well. Those managing work experience often lose track of how long ago they gave you a task. Use this extra time to check your work thoroughly, ensuring you complete everything to a high standard.

Treat it like an audition in terms of your effort levels. However, don’t make it look like you’re actively auditioning for something or seek to grab too much attention. Try to fit in and get on with things rather than upstage anyone. You want to impress in the short amount of time you have there, but not overwhelm them with attempts to show how awesome you are. That can be unsettling.

Be helpful, proactive and yourself

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

Towards the start of one fixed-term contract I was on, my boss spilt her drink over a desk. I immediately dried it with my handkerchief. I later heard from a colleague that she had been “impressed” with my quick reaction. At the time, I was surprised to hear she’d said anything. But I suppose it just emphasises another key tip: just be yourself.

Being yourself also means knowing your limitations. Don’t sit, stare and do nothing. If you hear someone struggling with something, offer to help. The worst that can happen is they say no. Even then, you’ve still shown yourself to be helpful and supportive. Don’t try to take on too much or offer to do things alone that you don’t know how to, though. If in doubt, ask for help with something. That allows you to learn and also show that you’re not overconfident.

Make an effort to chat to those around you.

The younger you are, the less likely companies are to give you ‘real work’ at your placements. Finding you something interesting to do won’t always be at the top of your manager’s priority list, especially when deadlines approach. Often the most interesting tasks come through talking to those sitting next to you. Ask them what they’re working on, or how long they’ve been at the company.

I did my first journalism work experience when I was 18. Bored after not being given enough to do during the first half of the week, I got chatting to the Political Editor, who then asked if I wanted to shadow him when he went into City Hall to interview the Deputy Mayor. I showed an interest in what the Crime Reporter was working on, and he let me write a couple of articles (until then, I hadn’t been asked to write anything). They both read my pieces and gave useful feedback.

Being chatty and showing an interest in what your colleagues do can also lead to making contacts. But obviously, do it at the right time, not if they’re on the phone or nearing a deadline. The same applies to asking your manager if there’s anything you can help with.

Don’t make yourself a hot drink without offering one to others

Assuming the organisation is one of the many in which workers ask those around them if they would like anything when they grab themselves a drink, make sure you get your round in. But be careful not to get the order wrong – write it down if you need to. You’d be surprised by how much people who take coffee without sugar, mind.

Steer clear of mobiles and social media

Try to stay off your phone. Partly as it can distract you from your work, but also because it can give the wrong impression to those around you. For example, it may seem like you’re losing focus when you’re actually browsing the web looking for a more effective solution. It’s about perception. People can often assume the worst when they see you on your phone, especially if you’re young.

Use the computer provided to conduct research rather than your phone and, if you’re contacting someone you have on Facebook for a story, try to stick to email if you have their address. It looks more professional to your colleagues, and your request may get a quicker response or be treated more seriously if it’s emailed.

And, if you’ve had a tough day, obviously don’t rant on social media about how much you hate your placement, unless you have an “alt” Twitter account.

Feature image via Warner Bros
Images via Giphy

Never underestimate how important it is to make a good impression at work. When your boss and colleagues realize they can rely on you to do a great job, then you’ll likely begin to receive greater responsibility. That, in turn, can lead to promotions and raises.

Use Proper Workplace Etiquette

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

Using proper office etiquette will help you make a good impression on your boss. It may sound simple until you realize that many people forget their manners.

For example, if you’re allowed to use a mobile phone at work, make sure it isn’t a distraction for you or anyone else. There’s also a big difference between personal and professional emails. Know the basics of email etiquette in the workplace.

In addition, when dining out with your boss, coworkers, or clients, you must be on your best behavior.

Face up to Your Mistakes

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

If you haven’t already, you will at some point make a mistake at work. It may even be a big one. It happens to everyone. How you handle the blunder will influence your manager’s opinion of you much more than the mistake itself.

The first thing you should do is admit what happened. Don’t ignore your error or try to place the blame on anyone else. Instead, take full responsibility and then come up with a way to fix your mistake. Even though your boss may be upset you made an error in the first place, he or she will at least recognize that you did all the right things when responding to it.

Call in Sick to Work When You Should

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

Do you think coming to work when you’re sick instead of staying at home will impress your boss? You’re wrong. Reasonable bosses know that sick employees are not only unproductive, but they can also spread germs around the office. What good will it do anyone if an entire staff has to take a sick day?

If you have a fever or think your illness might be contagious, then take the day off. You can catch up on your workload when you return to work, or if you’re feeling up to it, get some done from home if your employer allows it.

Come Through in a Crisis

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

When an unexpected crisis happens at work—the caterer skips town before a big conference your company is hosting or a computer crashes—who will make a better impression on the boss: the employer who panics or the one who springs into action to fix the problem? Learn how to deal with workplace crises quickly and effectively.

One way to do this is to imagine different scenarios and come up with plans to react to each one. Then, if the unexpected ever happens, you’ll be fully prepared to deal with it.

Avoid Controversial Topics

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

Bosses tend to like it when their workplaces are calm. Who can blame them? When employees work together harmoniously, they can focus on their jobs.

Avoid starting conversations about topics that make people uncomfortable and could even lead to arguments. Steer clear of talking about politics or religion, for instance.

Dress Appropriately

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

Always follow your organization’s dress code. Most companies no longer require employees to wear suits to work, but it’s still essential to have a neat and clean appearance.

If you’re allowed to wear jeans and t-shirts, make sure they’re in good condition. Your shoes should be in good shape as well. You usually can’t go wrong if you follow your boss’s lead when choosing your work attire.

Respect Your Coworkers

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

When coworkers respect one another they usually get along better—and few things are more important to a boss than that. No one wants their employees fighting.

Always avoid acting in an uncivil manner toward any of your coworkers. Be on time to work, especially if you are relieving someone from their shift. Don’t ever take credit for another person’s work. Always share the workload. Apologize if you ever manage to offend your coworker.

Represent Your Company Well at Conferences and Meetings

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

When you attend a conference or large business meeting on your employer’s behalf, it’s your job to make a good impression. It will reflect well on your organization, and your boss will appreciate your efforts.

Dress appropriately and network with other attendees. Make sure to bring back information to share with your boss and coworkers if they could not attend the meeting.

Think you have ten minutes to make a first impression? Think again.

The first seven seconds in which you meet somebody, according to science, is when you’ll make a “first impression.” So, whether it’s for an event, a business development meeting, or any other professional setting, you have to act very quickly in order to make the proper first impression. In order to have a great meeting and be remembered in the right way–while cementing your reputation–here are some important tips:

1. Smile

Facial expressions are very important when it comes to making a good first impression. Who doesn’t want their personal brand to be associated with positivity?

Smiling’s at the start of this list for a good reason. 48 percent of all Americans feel that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone. While smiling is important, you probably don’t want to have a cheesy and inauthentic grin plastered across your face. Smile too widely and it’s going to look like you’re covering up nervousness. Or you might come across as arrogant. Even a small grin can go a long way.

Not only does smiling make others feel more comfortable around you, but it also decreases stress hormones that can negatively impact your health. This isn’t according to just one or two studies; smiling is highly correlated with longevity. Since the need to make a positive first impression can increase your stress level, smiling is a way to take the edge off.

2. The Right Handshake

The handshake is accepted internationally as a professional sign of politeness. A proper handshake can convey confidence. You might be rolling your eyes at this, but the handshake is a fine art. You want to walk the line between a squeeze that comes across as incredibly tight and the dreaded limp fish. When you’re meeting with people whom you trust and have known for years, ask them how they feel after shaking hands, and how your handshake feels in relation to others they’ve experienced.

3. Introductions

You want your first seven seconds with somebody to be productive, so it’s great to throw in a verbal introduction as you meet with people. Even something as basic as “great to meet you” after they greet you can break the tension, and stop you from getting off into a tangent. If you have a hard time remembering names, the intro is a great place to reinforce the name of the person you just met. It doesn’t have to be too involved: when your contact says, “Hi, I’m Amelia,” reply with a simple, “Great to meet you, Amelia. I’m Jonah,” instead of just saying, “Hi, I’m Jonah,” in response.

4. Speak Clearly

Many people have wonderful things to say but don’t speak with any confidence. Unfortunately, that’s a great way to wind up getting overlooked. You want to be able to portray yourself in a positive light and give whomever you’re meeting a reason to listen to you. Don’t overcorrect and get too loud, either: studies have indicated that those who talk in a deeper voice, and more calmly, are taken more seriously.

5. Make Eye Contact

Looking someone in the eye conveys that you are confident and interested in what they have to say.

In Western countries like the U.S., eye contact shows respect to the person you’re meeting with. It also conveys a sense of interest in the conversation; likewise, looking away too much will make you appear distracted. Like with most things, it’s a good idea to not overdo it; if you don’t take breaks now and again, your eye contact could be viewed as staring, which has negative connotations.

6. Use Body Language

One interesting thing about human psychology: most of us instinctively mirror each other’s body language. Think about how infectious a yawn is in a group of people. A smile between friends is contagious, too. In fact, there’s a neuron that affects the part of the brain responsible for recognizing faces and reading facial expressions. This neuron causes the “mirroring” reaction. So when another person sees you smiling, the neuron fires and causes them to smile in response. Mirroring goes both ways; if you pick up on and reflect back the non-verbal cues of the person you’re speaking with, it sends a non-verbal message that you feel what they feel. Research shows that people who experience the same emotions are likely to experience mutual trust, connection and understanding.

Mirroring body language is a non-verbal way of saying “we have something in common.” When people say that someone gives off good energy, they’re not just indulging in some New Age beliefs; they’re describing mirroring and other synchronous behaviors they’re not consciously aware of.

How many of the above habits are you engaging in? Are there any you’re in the process of improving?

15 First Day on the Job Tips

It’s human nature for new co-workers and colleagues to form perceptions about the “type” of person you are based on initial impressions. These snap judgments can turn into long-term perceptions that may impact your career trajectory, and ultimately success, at an organization. That’s good news for people who make a positive impression. But if you make a negative first impression, it could haunt you — and your career — for a long time. This article explores 15 first day on the job tips.

1. Arrive early, stay late

A punctual arrival shows that you are organized, value your work, and are considerate of your co-workers’ time.

In addition, be aware of the company culture as it relates to the workday. When do people typically leave? Even if the workday is advertised as 9 to 5, leaving at 5 won’t score you any points if everyone else is staying until 6.

Follow the lead of your colleagues in the beginning. Once you are secure in your position you may be able to ask for more flexibility.

2. Dress the part

Whether you like it or not, people will judge you on how you look. In most situations, work is not the place to show off your Goth leanings or your love for all things hippy.To convey a message of reliable, organized, trustworthy, and efficient, dress professionally. If your work dress code is more relaxed, you can relax yours as well, but do so after people have gotten to know you.

3. Show up with a positive attitude

Be pleasant, enthusiastic, and friendly with everyone you come in contact with. Tackle all duties with eagerness, and never, ever complain about a particular duty, your job in general, or your co-workers or colleagues.

Being positive is one of the best ways to make a lasting first impression.

4. Ask for help

It’s tempting to want to prove your competence the first days on the job. But no matter how skilled and knowledgeable you are, you won’t have all the answers.

Rather than complete a job incorrectly, ask your co-workers and colleagues for help when you need it. No one expects you to know everything, and asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!

5. Take initiative

It’s common to feel overlooked or as if you’re not really needed as it’s figured out where you fit in. Once you’ve completed certain duties, don’t hide in your cubicle until someone tells you what to do next.

Instead, seek out your boss, tell him or her you’ve completed the assigned task, and ask what you can do next. When extra duties come up and you don’t have a full plate, raise your hand and volunteer to do them.

6. Check your personal life at the door

Sharing that you’re in debt up to your ears may cause others to view you as irresponsible, disorganized, or careless — qualities that aren’t appreciated in the workplace.

Keep your personal problems to yourself, and avoid using company time to solve them.

7. Socialize with your co-workers

Does your workplace have a softball team, a cooking club, or simply a group of people who go out for drinks every Tuesday night? Be sure to join them.

Not only does this build rapport and solidify relationships, it also shows that you’re a team player.

8. Avoid office politics and gossip

Stay far away from the rumor mill, and avoid associating with people who are powering it.

Talking trash or spreading rumors is considered negative behavior that has a divisive effect on the workplace.

9. Stay out of the limelight

It’s very tempting to highlight what you know the first few days on the job. After all, you want co-workers to know how qualified and competent you are.

But constantly putting yourself in the spotlight will give you nothing but an unflattering rep as a “know-it-all.” Instead, listen to others, be open-minded about their suggestions and approaches, and share your knowledge without forcing it on others.

10. Say “thank you” often

You’ll likely enjoy a success or two (even if they’re small) your first few days on the job. When you do, be sure to share credit with those who helped you.

Make it your policy to thank those who answer your questions, pitch in their time, or otherwise make your job easier.

11. Own up to your mistakes

Just like you’re likely to enjoy successes, you’ll also make a few mistakes your first few days on the job.

When you do, own up to them, and develop a plan to fix them. Never point fingers or blame your mistakes on others.

12. Be organized

The first few days on the job can feel like landing in a foreign country, as most organizations have their own unique rhythms.

Develop a system to keep track of meetings, projects, and deadlines. Missing an important deadline or failing to show up to a critical meeting will label you unreliable, undisciplined, and inefficient.

13. Have lunch with different people

Instead of waiting for them to invite you, invite your co-workers to lunch.

Lunching with colleagues will help you build a rapport with them, and will also put you on the fast track toward understanding company culture.

14. Get to know the company

Don’t stop researching once you’ve landed the position!

Read all possible literature provided by the company, keep up with what’s happening in the news with the company and their competitors, and keep track of their social media efforts through sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

15. Celebrate the positive first impression you’ve made

Be confident in all the steps you have taken to show co-workers and colleagues who you really are. When you appear confident you appear successful, and that’s key to making a great first impression!

A great first impression can lead to career success

A great first impression can open doors, while a poor one can slam them shut.

By following the tips in this article, you’ll increase your chances of making a positive first impression — the kind that can have a long-lasting impact on your career and success.

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

If you’re like me, then I’m sure you have days when you’re just not feelin’ it at work. Maybe you’re tired, or lacking confidence, or totally overwhelmed. And it can really start to take it’s toll. Luckily, there are ways to appear more professional and confident at work, regardless of how you feel on the inside.

Because let’s be honest, you aren’t going to show up to work every day as your most polished, sophisticated self. You may be wrinkled and messy. You may let a few things slip through the cracks. You might even get nervous and totally flub an important presentation. If that happens, don’t worry. You’re only human. Humans get nervous, humans get tired, and humans occasionally show up to work with a giant coffee stain on their shirt. It’s not the end of the world.

You will, however, want to reign all that in, and present your best self as often as possible. Because, like it or not, your boss and co-workers are probably going to take note of how you handle yourself at work. That includes how you dress, how you act in meetings, how quickly and professionally you answer emails — all of it. I know, it kind of sounds judge-y and overly critical. But that’s the way the working world works.

So put your best foot forward, feel confidence, and move up that corporate ladder, with a few of these tips for feeling, and looking, more professional at work.

1. Be All About That Work Outfit

Most jobs have a dress code, which you should obviously adhere to. However, I recommend taking it one step further, and really throwing together an amazing work outfit. Not only is it fun to dress up, but there’s something about the perfect outfit that can really make you feel so good. And when you feel good, you exude confidence.

2. Wear A Signature Item

Standing out, style-wise, can keep you memorable in your boss’s mind. It also screams confidence, if you are that guy or girl with the recognizable style. As Dorie Clark said on Forbes, “Don’t worry if it doesn’t come naturally to you . go for it. The days of conformity are over; what people are likely to remember about you is how you’re different and unique.”

3. Keep Your Desk Looking Top Notch

There’s something very mad science-y about a messy desk, so if that’s your gig, then have at it. But for fancy offices, or minimalist start-up environments, it may do some good to have a clean, organized desk. It’ll look like you have your sh*t together, even if you don’t. Plus, it’ll make working and staying on top of projects that much easier.

4. Adopt A Professional Phone Voice

Talking in a professional phone voice can be tough to get used to, especially if you’re working for the first time. It does do wonders, however, for how professional you sound. As Ben Brumm said on, “Your greeting is the first thing that people hear when they call you, and you want to send a good impression to them. Try adding your name in there as well as a greeting.” It’ll sound so very grown-up, and will score major points with whoever’s on the other end of the phone.

5. Be Cool With Taking Risks

The next time your boss approaches you with a new project, you may secretly want to die inside. How will you handle it? Will you mess it up? Your mind reels. But don’t let these thoughts run away with you. Instead, agree to give it a go, and then do your best. This is the idea of “risk taking,” according to Bill Murphy Jr. on, and it can really help you make a good impression.

6. Go Beyond What’s Expected

If you want to make a good impression, even if your confidence is quickly waning, the best thing to do is going above and beyond what’s expected. “With each new assignment, think of ways you can knock the ball out of the park,” suggested Ruth Zive on “You’ll feel better about yourself if you go the extra mile — and you’ll probably get some good feedback from others, too.”

7. Set Up An Email Signature

If there’s anything more professional than an email signature, please let me know. It not only lets contacts know that they’re communicating with your on a professional level, but it also gives them the info they need to reach out again in the future. In other words, it quickly takes your email from the “one I use to send memes to my friends,” to “the email I use to for my fancy job.”

8. Ask For Some Constructive Feedback

This one might sound scary. I mean, who wants to be critiqued? But trust me when I say that asking for some feedback is just about the most professional thing you can do. “Doing so demonstrates that you care about your work and want to succeed in your job,” Zive said. “Plus, instead of anxiously wondering what you’re doing wrong, you’ll gain a better sense of your performance, your strengths, and your areas for improvement.”

9. Don’t Play On Your Phone

There isn’t a person on the planet who doesn’t occasionally browse the internet while at work, or sneak a few texts under their desk. Heck, some companies don’t even care if you do so, as long as your work gets done. But other places of employment seriously frown on any personal phone use. Stick to what’s expected of you at work.

10. Have Some Good Posture

It may be comfy, but no one looks like the picture of professionalism when they slouch. As Katya Andresen said on Entrepreneur, “. studies show body language can affect who we hire, how we judge people, how we decide how to interact with someone, and how we perceive ourselves.” So sit up straight at your desk, and stride around the office with confidence.

11. Accept Praise For A Job Well Done

If you’ve been feeling shy at work, then accepting praise may feel absolutely mortifying. Don’t downplay your achievements. “Acknowledging those successes and rewarding yourself will remind you how great you really are — and there’s no greater confidence boost than a job well done.”

Keep these tips in mind, and I’m sure you’ll come across as the most confident person at work, whether you feel that way or not. Hopefully, it’ll start to rub off, and you’ll

4 Areas Most Enhance Your Professional Image

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

Successful people believe their success is attributable to a pattern of mutually beneficial interpersonal relationships, as much as it is due to technical skills or business knowledge. Your communication and the image you present create the first impression—often the lasting impression—on the people you meet.

Want o to develop a more professional image? How you present, yourself is the first step in building that mutually beneficial network of contacts.

Studies about people meeting reveal that most people make decisions about a new acquaintance within the first thirty seconds to two minutes of interaction. One study identified that this decision occurred in a tenth of a second.  

This does not give you much time to make a good impression.

In a phone interview, Dr. Albert Mehrabian at UCLA said that his study revealed that when people try to convey meaning through their communication with others, the majority of your message is communicated nonverbally and through voice and facial expression.

His studies revealed that up to 37% of a first impression is based upon the speaker’s tone of voice. On the telephone, that number rises to 80% or higher, according to other communication consultants.  

These are the four areas that have a huge impact on your image and how you present yourself professionally:

  • appearance,
  • interpersonal interaction,
  • written interaction, and
  • networking.

Professional Appearance Counts

The standard advice given by mentors and managers to people who want to advance their careers has always been to dress for the job you want, not the job you have currently.

Even in this day of more casual dressing for work, your professional image will serve you well when promotions, lateral moves, choice assignments, and departmental visibility are available. Think about the last time you admired a colleague. Their professional image likely played a role.

A professional appearance sets you apart from coworkers who are less concerned about projecting a successful, professional image. Here are guidelines for business casual dress and business casual dress in a manufacturing work environment. These dress code guidelines will serve you well in any workplace that espouses today’s casual environment.

Speak to Groups to Enhance Your Professional Image

Do you know that studies have shown how serious the fear of public speaking is for many people? This study found that “public speaking was selected more often as a common fear than any other fear, including death. However, when students were asked to select a top fear, students selected death most often. These findings help authors and instructors aptly quote the 1973 Bruskin Associate’s findings, which were confirmed by this study.”  

Public speaking, presentations at meetings, and speaking eloquently in small groups can do more for your career visibility than almost any other opportunity. Promotions also come more frequently to employees who can communicate effectively in person.

Project a Professional Image in Writing

Your self-presentation via written reports, email, correspondence, and all other forms of written communication are the face you most frequently present in your workplace or professional community. With email correspondence, IMs, texting, and posting to social networks, informality usually rules. That’s a mistake for your professional image.

These communication tools at work are formal and professional communication tools and should look like formal communication. In an email, for example, begin with a greeting (Dear Mary), a closing (Regards), and a signature file that tells who you are, your title, department, work address, and telephone number.

For general instruction in writing, check out Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab. It’s a great reference. For general information about professional and business writing, Purdue comes through once again. Their index will lead you to topics such as General business writing issues, Letters, memos and reports, and Samples and Models. They are all worth your time.  

Trusting that the advice in these four areas will help you project the professional image you want others to notice about you, use these tips to enhance your career.

Your successful professional image, projected through your speaking, face-to-face meetings, written communication, and appearance, will result in more opportunities for networking.

Networking is building professional, mutually serving relationships for the purpose of helping both parties obtain goals. The term originates in a dictionary definition: “a system of elements (as lines or channels) that cross in the manner of the threads in a net.” (Merriam-Webster) Your image and communication are critical to advancing your networking success.

People have always built professional networks informally, but attention in recent years has focused on systematically building relationships with professional friends and friends of friends.

In his book, “The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell describes a person who knows many other people as a connector, and he credits connectors with facilitating much of the interaction people have with each other.

Whether it’s a business associate’s knowledge, a job, a restaurant recommendation, or a good book to read, connectors help others get what they need by connecting people who don’t know each other. It is also how you build a professional network.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve successfully developed a professional image through your face-to-face, written, and spoken communication; your appearance, and your presence, your career will soar.

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

Whether you are on the job search and starting a round of interviews or you have been working at your company for a couple of years, how you present yourself can make all of the difference in your success. Don’t compromise your intelligence and work ethic by dressing unprofessionally. Your image can have more influence on your work performance than you may think. At Be Inspired PR, I expect our employees to dress professionally and take pride in their appearance.

Look Good, Feel Good

How you feel about yourself can have a huge effect on your mood and translate over to your work. Whenever I go to a networking event or a presentation, I always make sure that I am wearing an outfit that I look and feel great in because I want to stay focused on performance, rather than worrying about how I look. When I feel great in an outfit, my confidence is immediately boosted and I am more likely to perform better. Your conscious mind has the immense power to help you shape your reality. By having confidence in yourself, dressing the part, and perceiving that you are capable of a task, you enhance your ability to actually achieve your goals. Looking good on the outside leaves you feeling good on the inside and can lead to a productive, successful day.

Send The Right Message

When you are dressed professionally, people will respect you. Office attire conveys so much more than we think. Putting thought and time into how you are showing up to work shows your fellow employees, boss and clients that you are serious, capable and care about what you do. Look and dress the part to gain the respect that you deserve and always make a good first impression. You never know who you may meet on a day-to-day basis, so dressing well will guarantee that you are always ready.

Make Sure You’re Overdressed Rather Than Underdressed

Most times, your look will play a role in the first impression you make with your employer, so when going to an interview or attending your first day at a new job, it’s always better to opt for a polished look. If you want to send the right message to your interviewer and/or boss, take the time to understand the corporate culture and what the most appropriate attire would be. I can tell immediately if a candidate is serious about the position based on their outfit. If they did their research, they would know what our style is like here at Be Inspired PR. Once you land the job, feel out the office atmosphere and notice what the people around you are wearing. If your office is more on the casual side, feel free to dress down a little bit. Just have a good sense of the vibe before you start.

Take Care Of Yourself

You have the outfit: now, make sure you have the hygiene to match. Clothing and hygiene go hand in hand, and while we like to say its what’s on the inside that counts, physical appearance is the first thing that people notice and remember. Brushed hair, minty breath, and an over-all-pulled-together look can make all the difference when interacting with either a current boss or future employer. Good hygiene lets people know that you like to take care of yourself, which says something about your character. While no one may consciously think that you have good hygiene, they will most definitely notice if you do not.

Don’t Overdo It

While following these tips, it is important to remember where you are and what your goal is. Think about your purpose when getting ready in the morning. While your appearance can help you convey how professional, dedicated, productive and hardworking you are, going overboard can hinder it. Dressing in anything too flashy, inappropriate, or very different from the norm at your office can create negative impressions and send the opposite message from what you are trying to convey.

Every day at work, aim to look how you would want to be remembered. Taking time to look professional is worth the few extra minutes in the morning, and your career could benefit from that extra effort. When polished, all you need is the confidence to match. A lot of the time, this comes with the thought you put into how you look.

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs 45 and younger. YEC members…

How to be more professional at work and make a good impression

“A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.”

Client Mary asks: Joel, I’ve just started my new job and it’s been only a few months. I feel like I could be making a better impression on my coworkers. I know there’s more I could be doing to really shine. How can I stand out, aside from producing good work?

Coach Joel answers: Many factors aside from sheer ability to get the work done influence the impression people make at work. Furthermore, an array of social factors affect ability to get the job done as a team. Become a superstar employee by mastering these methods of making a good impression at work, and you’re sure to stand out.

Once you’ve created a good impression of yourself at work, maintaining it is easy. People’s expectations toward others guide how they treat them—in other words, we all tend to behave the way others expect us to act.

Envision the interactions you want to have

Whether you’re going to a work party or a business lunch, or just showing up to your office in the morning, envision the kinds of interactions you want to engage in. Think about what you want to get out of the interactions. This will help you to focus your energy toward specific objectives.

Be perceptive about others

Most of us fear that our contributions go unseen. Making a good impression means working to point out your coworkers’ large and small contributions, or qualities that you admire. This will go a long way toward relationship-building. Voicing your observations about little things you’ve noticed will show you have a keen eye for detail—and they’ll appreciate your presence more.

Know your capacity

Define expectations when taking on a project (or turning it down). Taking on more projects won’t necessarily impress your boss or coworkers, who will quickly realize if you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Articulating your capacities—regardless of whether you say “yes” or “no”—shows foresight, self-awareness, and concern for the company. If you do want to accept but know you couldn’t handle more work beyond that project, say so—it will help your boss and team plan better.

Share your accomplishments

If you don’t point out your successes, people might not notice them. State them matter-of-factly when they happen, knowing they’re not just your personal wins but also the team’s accomplishments. By keeping others appraised of your achievements and skills, you’ll illustrate that you have all the qualities of a great leader.

Become a good follower

While this might sound counterintuitive, it’s not. A good leader knows how to follow the leadership of others, and doing so shows humbleness. A good follower takes initiative, welcomes feedback, and owns up to mistakes.

Initiate conversation about ideas

When you have a new idea, get input on it. Likewise, invite others to discuss ideas with you. Brainstorm on important topics with coworkers before a team meeting, so you’ll all have more to contribute.

Be accessible

Getting back to people quickly about their questions will signal that you’re professional. Whether replying to email or in-person requests, communicate in a timely manner. Delaying a response can feel like a passive aggressive way of saying you don’t want to be bothered.

Stay out of gossip culture

Gossip undermines the corporate culture. This might seem like a no-brainer, but how often have you heard idle banter that could truly hurt the subject of conversation? If there’s a problem to address and people need to compare notes, that’s fine. If it goes beyond that, however, people should be putting their energy into solving the problem rather than publicly stewing over it.

Create a 90-day plan

If you’re starting a new job, create a plan for what you want to accomplish in your first 90 days of your job. A plan will keep you on track and help you exceed your boss’s expectations. Try using this strategy even if you’ve been at your job for a while. Imagine yourself coming in fresh, with three months to prove yourself—what would you focus on? Even if you never show the plan to anyone else, it can add an element of excitement to your work.

Share stories about your life

Develop more positive work relationships with your coworkers and boss by sharing about your life outside of work. You don’t need to relay the most intimate details; things like hobbies, volunteering, and vacations will give people a fuller picture of you. Plus, showing that you have a zest for life outside of work will give people a more positive impression of you. When people realize, “Oh, he’s not only a great accountant; he also loves nature photography and helps a local nonprofit file its taxes,” they’re sure to be impressed. Moreover, they’ll share about their own lives and you’ll find more common ground as a result.

As you take these steps, you’re sure to create a good impression at work, making you stand out to your boss and coworkers. These tips will help you become more of a team player, and people will take notice.

Wish you’d made a better first impression, or want others to perceive you as perfect for that promotion? Contact Joel to utilize his leadership coaching services, and browse through his extensive video library for more tips and strategies that will guide you to success.

Proper grooming and professional appearance are important to gain not just positive impression but also respect in the workplace. First impressions matter and the way you look and carry yourself create impact on people you get along with in the work setting. Proper grooming and professional appearance is important to both men and women. Lack of these may lead to poor image and may interfere with your chance of getting good impression and positive feedbacks from your workmates and superiors.

Professional Standards in the Workplace

In today’s competitive and modern business world, it is highly essential to adhere with professional appearance and grooming for the workplace. If you have the desire to look your best at all times in social and professional settings, you need to keep in mind the following basic guidelines for good grooming in the workplace:

1. Wear business suits in basic colors.
2. Always be neat and clean including your teeth, fingernails, face, hair and even your shoes.
3. Keep your pockets empty and as much as possible avoid tinkling coins or keys and bulges.
4. Avoid eating candies, smoking cigarettes and chewing gum when you are inside the office.
5. Use portfolio case or light briefcase when carrying important documents with you instead of compiling these documents in folders and carrying these between your armpits.
6. As much as possible get rid of tattoos and body piercings for these will just make you look untidy and unprofessional.
7. Wear light perfume and cologne and minimize using lots of jewelries.

It is also highly important to maintain professional appearance and image at all times. Proper grooming and professional appearance can certainly make you stand out and be ahead of the competition. You can achieve these by following these helpful tips:

Make Sure To Wear Clean And Presentable Clothes

Have separate clothes for hanging out and going to the office. It seems to be unprofessional if you wear clothes with holes and stains in the workplace. Wear the cleanest and most presentable outfit when going to work for this will surely help you look your best. However, you need to still comply with the dress code set by your company.

Invest on Iron and Dry Cleaner
There are some clothes that require pressing or special care by a reliable dry cleaner. Pants and other clothing look better when they are professionally pressed.

Dressed Conservatively
If you wanted to establish a credible and respectful image, you need to dress conservatively in the office. In the case of women, they are advised to avoid using clothes that are revealing. Clothes must be in proper fit and length to ensure confidence and comfort upon wearing.

These are just few of the many ways on how you can achieve ideal professional appearance and grooming for the workplace. Individuals also have to note that personal hygiene must be practiced in the workplace and not just at home. Professional appearance can further be enhanced by reporting to work early, wearing the best smile often and displaying positive attitude.

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Author Biography
Keith Miller has over 25 years experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entreprenuer, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith’s work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.