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Create a professional image

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

The old adage “You only get one chance to make a first impression,” though obvious, holds wisdom. Focus on these three areas to boost your image:

  1. Professional appearance. In the day of casual work environments, maintaining a professional dress code for yourself can make you stand out in a positive way. Rather than dressing for your current part, imagine the position you ultimately wish to have and dress for it now.
  2. Written communication. Once an art form, written communication has also succumbed to our casual society. With emails, texts and social media, communication can easily become informal. Be more formal in your written business communications. Use complete sentences and follow email etiquette, including an appropriate subject for each email, a greeting, well-written body, closing and signature with contact information.
  3. Face-to-face interactions. Don’t hide behind electronic means of communication. Get out there and work your interpersonal skills. Look for networking meetings and public speaking opportunities where you can showcase your skills. Expressing yourself clearly and effectively will serve you well.

— Adapted from “Your Image Is You,” Susan Heathfield, www.humanresources.about.com.

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