Updated: Jan 11, 2020
Presenting Yourself Professionally is more than just the clothes you wear to an interview, to your job, or to classes. Maintaining a professional image also includes representing yourself well through the way you communicate with others.
While it may seem superficial to form impressions based on image, the reality is that many people form perceptions of someone within the first few moments of interacting with that individual. According to Susan Heathfield, “your communication and the image you present create the first impression – often the lasting impression – on the people you meet”. For example, how you complete a job application or the appearance of your resume can speak volumes. To ensure you are presenting yourself professionally, Heathfield makes the following suggestions: - E-mail - Proper e-mail etiquette is important. Don’t make the mistake of assuming an informal email is appropriate especially if you are communicating with co-workers or professionals. - Interpersonal Communication - Speaking with friends can be a more casual conversation but when speaking in the workplace, make sure your words and conversations are appropriate for the environment. Avoid using foul language within these environments. - Network – Remember that when you are networking, the people you are building connections with are developing an image of who you are. How and if they are able to recommend you for a position or opportunity may be dependent on the professional image you have built with them.
Networking and Presenting Yourself Professionally Discussion Points
When you think about networking, what are your initial reactions to it? o Do you think you are a natural “networker” or is networking more difficult for you?
Describe your style of networking. How do you handle networking situations?
What issues do you think are unique for women in the area of presenting themselves professionally? What is challenging to you as you think about presenting yourself professionally? Examples: how you dress, talk, your resume, etc.
Who do you view in your life as someone who has this whole networking and professionalism thing down? What qualities or practices can you glean from this person as you work on this area?