I recently attended an awards ceremony where a number of women received recognition for their business and good citizen’s achievements. Each was featured in the program. I felt it was surprising when each of them went up to receive their awards because only a few looked like their photos. Some had aged significantly or their physical shapes had taken on another life either up or down. Now granted, some folks don’t change, but clothing styles do as does how one poses for a head shot. These are some tips to insure your photo is current.
• Should not be more than four years old
• Should be replaced if your hair coloring or style changes drastically (like from a blond to a red head)
• Should be updated if you gain or lose more than 20 pounds
You always want to look like you just stepped out of your photo when someone first meets you.
In today’s world of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Spoke to name a few, your photo should be appropriate to the site. LinkedIn and Spoke are business networking sites while Facebook is a social one unless you have a professional page like I do. My photo on Linkedin is not the same one I use on my personal Facebook page. My photo on Amazon as an author is also different.
The life of your photograph is best served with different clothing choices and in some cases even a different pose. The reason for this is that your audience is usually different for each site. The purpose of your photo is to connect to the viewer and give them a sense about you. So, wearing a very casual outfit will be fine for your personal Facebook page but not for your LinkedIn profile.
Cheryl Burton, ABC Chicago evening news anchor, wore an aqua blue multi-shaped bib necklace with a sleeveless scooped neckline coral dress. She looked stunning. The scooped neckline gave the necklace space to be featured. Cheryl also chose a complementary color so the necklace was balanced with the coral dress. If she had chosen to wear a black dress the necklace might not have looked as stylish.
If you choose the appropriate neckline and color to balance a bib necklace, you will wear the necklace; the necklace will not wear you.
Recently I was asked what business casual meant regarding dress. Is it the similar for all industries? Does it apply the same way to everyone in that profession?
Business casual will always be confusing just because it is not viewed the same way for all business professions.
Here are some guidelines:
Professional Services (Finance and Accounting)
• Polished and upscale
- Tops include oxford shirts and sweater sets in heavier fabrics and shapes
- Slacks in fabrics (like gabardine) that shape the body
- Shoes in polished leather or microfiber
• More relaxed
- Tops include knit shirts and simple blouses with or without collars
- Slacks in cotton or linen
- Shoes can be more casual – sporty styles
Never wear wrinkled or torn clothing. Stay away from sweatshirts, cut offs and clothing that reveals too much skin.
If you are a female in management, a piece of signature jewelry is good.
For a male manager consider a tie, sweater vest and high-end accessories.
Follow these guidelines and your business casual attire will not be mistaken for weekend wear.
Today’s retailers are pushing bright colors like corals, greens and yellows. It can be very overwhelming but at the same time we can be seduced by it. Color is critical because it sets us apart from the folks in dark colors. Plus, certain colors can make us look and feel better.
• Men have an easier time handling colors in either a shirt or tie. (Neutral slacks are always best.) There are some shirts for men with unique designs and an abundance of color. The key is to make sure the shirt does not wear you. You wear the shirt.
• For women, the pop of color can be shown off in a jacket, shirt or shoes. But do not wear more than three colors at once and be careful on how you situate them.
When color is used wisely it can lift one’s mood, make inexpensive items look expensive and make a person appear younger.
Folks assigned to work on teams may not always be a good fit. An example of this is dealing with a team member who has a reputation of not working well with others. There are two ways to handle it. (Use the method that best suits the culture of your organization.)
One way is for the team leader to have a one on one conversation with this individual about shared expectations and what is the best for the team and organization. The second way is to have a team meeting with an open dialog on the key elements of impactful communications. Outline acceptable methods of how to handle any potential conflict and decide on the best way to agree to disagree.
The most important thing is ensure the team is successful as a group.
Summer time is great for stylish sandals. However, there can be a problem for women who cannot wear sandals because they lack support. This especially affects those have to insert orthotic insoles which take an extra size shoe.
Just recently I was with a client who experienced this issue. To cope with it, she wore clunky, wide, comfort shoes. But they looked like black work shoes. I recommended she buy colorful shoes because they would look funky but fun. Dansko is a wonderful brand with fun styles that turn what may be unattractive shoes into a pair of stylish footwear.
I have always hesitated to wear eyeliner because most of the time it ends up smearing and running down to the lower eye lash lids. But, the correct thickness of eyeliner on your eyelids will make your eyes pop and fresh looking. The challenging part is finding a liner that is easy to use and that does not have a tendency to run. Eye liner like that will always enhance your eyes.
On this topic, congratulations are in order for Bobby Brown! She has come up with a wonderful gel eyeliner pencil. I have used it for a week now and it does not run or smear.
When Samantha takes a walk, she always starts full of the potential excitement of her adventure. Her head is held high and her gaze is straight ahead, eyes shining with great anticipation about what she might see. For those of you who know, Samantha is my bison (you can see her picture on the far upper right corner).
Wouldn’t it be great if each time you walked into a room, you had the good anticipatory feeling of exploring something new? It projects in your body, facial expressions and even your walk. It is the aura of confidence and creates a wonderful first impression.
The charm of Facebook is that it helps folks express themselves and engage those with like minds. It can also provide some self-insight:
• Talk about only positive experiences
• Select profile photos that have a professional, casual, friendly look
• Post pictures that involve others only if you have permission to use them
• Never write anything off-color
• Never post any pictures that are risqué
• Never say anything negative about a product or person
You always want to present positive vibes because what you post has a long internet life. Following these few simple guidelines will help ensure that your Facebook posts will only enhance your image.