Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Test Your Professional Image IQ

Whether we like it or not, people form impressions based on our professional image every day. If you are job hunting, the extra attention you pay to presenting a professional image will be well worth the effort. Take this quiz to test your image knowledge.
1. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
– Studies have shown that it takes up to seven encounters to erase a bad first impression. You may be able to overcome tripping on the way into the interview or spilling your water all over your potential boss. However, you can guarantee their first impression will never be forgotten.

2. The more money you have, the better your chances of having a good image.
– Money is not necessary for a professional image, there are plenty of discounted, sale, or second-hand clothing items that can communicate professionalism. With proper planning and attention to the details of image, almost anyone can have a positive professional image.

3. How you come across is more important than what you say.
– If you examine two candidates for a job, the candidate who is less qualified but comes across with a poised, professional image will receive the job more than 80% of the time according to recruiters.

4. Controlled, smooth movements communicate confidence.
– I often teach the job search motto: “Fake it ‘til you make it!” You shouldn’t lie on your resume or overstate your qualifications. However, confidence can be faked using your body language and professional image. Nervous gestures are distracting to your message when communicating, especially when meeting one-on-one.

5. More than 50% of communication is through the spoken word.
– 93% of how you communicate with the world is non-verbal. That means only 7% of our communication actually comes out of our mouth. Ask yourself what you are saying without uttering a word.

6. The fit of your clothing is more important than the style or the quality.
– Even the most expensive suit or garment will look shabby if it does not fit. When deciding what to wear to that important interview, sit down in a chair in front of a mirror in your interview clothes. Take a good look at what your interviewer will see when they sit across from you.

7. The safest smell in business is no smell at all.
– It is very important to avoid perfume and cologne in a business setting – most importantly the interview. There are many people who are allergic to perfume. If a potential employer is allergic to your cologne, they just want you to go away so they can breathe easier. With that attitude, do you think they’ll be paying any attention to what you say?

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