Choose to Be a Professional
What does it mean to present yourself professionally? Merriam-Webster defines professionalism as, “The skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.”
There are many ways to present yourself in professional manner, and it certainly makes a difference in how others perceive you, especially when looking for, and keeping, a job. Here are just a few areas in which professionalism is important.
Appearance: From the interviewing process to on the job, you are expected to dress a certain way. Always adhere to the company policy when it comes to dress code. When in doubt, opt for being conservative and dressing business professional. Be sure clothing is clean and pressed and that your hair is neat and out of your face. Gum chewing and smoking is never appropriate in professional situations. Also, remember that a smile goes a long way.
Online Presence: Be sure that you are using an appropriate email address. Rather than using firstname.lastname@example.org, utilize an email address that is simple and contains your name, i.e. email@example.com. When using social media, be cautious of your content. Avoid posting inappropriate pictures or negative comments and when possible, enable your strictest privacy settings.
Language: “Text talk” should be avoided. Never use “LOL,” other similar abbreviations, or emoticons in email or other written correspondence. Swearing is also a huge red flag for employers. In a recent survey by CareerBuilder, 71% of employers believe swearing at work shows lack of control.
Attitude and non-verbal communication: Actions can speak louder than words and you want to make sure you are perceived in a positive light.