If you’re a recent graduate, straight out of the bubble of college courses and all-nighters, there are plenty of ways to make yourself look more professional.
A good start is being professional.
Things like showing up on time, being polite and courteous, and taking on extra responsibilities for the good of the team are always noticed and appreciated, no matter who you are.
But, when you’re young and just starting out, it’s also a good idea to make sure you give off a professional vibe, even when you’re not quite sure what you’re doing.
There is no need to invest in thousand-dollar suits or rent a Beamer to be taken seriously in the professional world. But, it never hurts to look like you mean business.
This is probably the most important element to getting a professional look.
Whether you are male or female, a few structured blazers, some button-downs, and a couple pairs of well-fitting, structured pants will take your wardrobe from college to corner office immediately.
Sounds simple enough. But this isn’t just some lame piece of advice your dad keeps mentioning. A watch always adds a professional flair to any outfit. It also keeps you from being late or constantly looking at your phone for the time.
No more ten-dollar haircuts. It’s time to go to a real stylist who can assess your hair and find the most flattering cut for you. This is also important if you work in a creative industry. Go for a look all on your own.
Get in the habit of cleaning the dirt from under your nails and clipping dead skin. Get a manicure every two weeks.
This is another tip that sounds obvious.
However, it can be so tempting to revert back to college ways and roll out of bed with the t-shirt you wore o last night’s concert still clinging to your back.
Resist the urge to throw one of your new blazers over it and head to work. Choose something clean instead.
Nothing says wide-eyed and naive like overdressing for your first job.
Try to blend with the typical employee wardrobe. You will not look more mature by donning a three piece suit for a conference call.
This is one of the biggest mistakes young professionals make. They are all business during the week, and, on the weekends, revert back to their flip flops and baggy jeans.
Nothing wrong with a good flip flop, but a great wardrobe always stems from good casual basics. You can build a really cool professional wardrobe around good casuals.
If you don’t need a briefcase, don’t use one. But, if you find yourself lugging your computer, phone and keys around on their own, try looking for a simple side satchel or professional computer bag to pull everything together.