7 Mistakes that Ruin a Professional Image
By Sheila Dicks
Some of us are aware of it and some us
are not. But it can make all the difference
in your business social success. What is
it? A professional image. Good grooming,
self-care, and an appropriate wardrobe are
significant factors in a successful career.
Following are the seven top mistakes that
will ruin a professional image, and advice
for avoiding them.
A polished look means being polished from
head to toe, not neck to toe. A neatly groomed
person wearing a great, well-fitting suit
can commit image suicide when she forgets
to attend to her hair and makeup. Hair,
makeup and wardrobe should be in harmony
or professionalism is brought into question.
By harmony I mean the hairstyle should
be the same style as the clothing; sporty
clothing - sporty hairdo, professional clothing
- professional hairdo. For example, long,
straight hair when worn down will look good
on most occasions. However, when wearing
a suit in a business setting the hair will
look more in harmony if it is worn up or
neatly tied back. Hair has a significant
impact on image; it can make or break it.
If you are trying to project a professional
image, keep your hair in good condition,
without splits or ragged ends or a two-toned
Poor posture is a common problem that
can ruin the image of a woman who otherwise
has a professional image. A well-dressed
woman with an appropriate hairstyle and
makeup can ruin it all with poor posture.
One frequent contributor to poor posture
is wearing shoes with heels that are too
high, pushing the body forward. High-heeled
shoes have their place - they make your
legs look great - but if you find walking
difficult, your heels are likely too high.
If your shoes are fine but you know you
have a posture problem, try some abdominal
Lipstick can add color and life to your
face and outfit; however, too much caked
on lipstick looks unprofessional. Also,
lip liner should not be seen. Lipstick should
be dark enough to hide the liner. The liner
is meant to give lips an even look and stop
them from bleeding; it is not meant to be
a border. Be very careful if you want to
make your lips appear larger and decide
to go outside the line. If not done correctly,
this can look messy and overdone.
4. Matching eye makeup and lipstick
The darkness of eye makeup and lipstick
should match. If you like to wear dark eyeliner
and eye shadow, ensure you avoid light lip
colors. If you have light or blonde hair,
dark eyeliner is overpowering and looks
unprofessional. If you have light-colored
hair, stick to lighter shades.
Regardless of your coloring, to be on the
safe side, avoid dark eye makeup and lipstick
in professional settings.
Eyebrows frame the eyes and can add to
a professional image or ruin it. Three things
to avoid: first, eyebrows that are much
darker than hair color; second, eyebrows
you can barely see with heavy eye makeup;
and finally, bushy, unkempt eyebrows.
6. Nervous habits
You may have habits that are detracting
from your image. If you have a habit such
as nail biting, hair twisting, knee jerking,
nose-scratching - work to get it under control.
Although this is not a habit, nothing ruins
your image more than chewing gum. If you
want to create a professional image, never
chew gum in public.
7. Voice and Attitude
A pleasant voice and a friendly attitude
are characteristics that people respond
to positively. If those characteristics
are not evident, no amount of training or
grooming will make up for it.
Sheila Dicks is an Image and Wardrobe
Consultant who teaches women how to dress
to suit their body type and look slimmer.
Visit her at http://www.sheilasfashionsense.com
to download a copy of her ebook Image Makeover
and get How to Build a Wardrobe free.