Anna Soo Wildermuth

Welcome to Personal Images, Inc.!

Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Career Killers

Why is presence so important?

targetOften, I observe technically competent folks with reasonable communications skills rise up the ladder pretty quickly and then hit a wall. The C-Suite does not see them as the face of the organization. This usually is first impressions garnered on connecting with an audience. It is the way they carry themselves meaning posture, pace and how they look any audience in its collective eye.

Also, it’s putting together clothing choices, grooming and the key ingredient of style and confidently navigating situations. They can be cut some slack if it is noticed that confidence and communication skills promote steadiness. Can some develop the critical factor of presence to move into the C suite?  Yes, with the right coach, mentors and champions, the C-Suite is a possibility!

Inclusive not intrusive leaders

Thumbs upSuccessful leaders are always inclusive in their interactions whether is it just acknowledging with a hello in a casual encounter or making introductions in a meeting. They are inclusive in providing feedback. Even in difficult situations, any intrusive or destructive behavior is avoided.

This reminds me of an incident on a major project for more than 1,000 retail service centers. The vendor of choice missed the deadline for delivering the products. The CEO called a meeting with the leaders of the vendor organization. He stated in quiet voice how much he valued their relationship…however if the product was not delivered within 30 days he would cancel the order and go with a new vendor.

He did not yell, question their professionalism or go thru the cost of damages. Nor was he in their face on how bad the situation was. Instead he was all about moving forward.

8 Things to Avoid on Resumes

pen Steve Wyrostek, MBA, CPRW at www.noclicheresumes.com  has been my go to person when you are ready to look for a new job or refresh your work documents, avoid the following when you are preparing your resume:

  • An objective statement. Use a summary, instead. Objectives are often seen on first resume out of school or a Word template resumes. No objectives at any time. A four to five line, succinct, modular summary is best.
  • Using dates past 20 years and if possible, keep job experiences in the 2000s. Never date degrees or certifications.
  • Listing volunteer activities unless they relate directly to the job applied for.
  • Too large or small font. Use 10 to 11 sans serif font (Arial, Calibri).
  • Placing acronyms like MBA after your name. This can garble the automatic tracking system readers that most companies run resumes through.
  • Block paragraphs. Use no more than three lines for a job description or bullet.
  • Clichés. Hiring managers glaze over phrases like good communicator, like to work with people, detail-oriented, etc. Instead show those traits with job achievements.
  • Forgetting to list achievements. Your job description is what you did and achievements are what you accomplished while doing it.

There are more but these are the most common things to avoid when preparing your resume.

When is too much information a bad thing?

haircut disasterInformation overload is a killer because it can jumble the true issues. Setting a timeline and a process to gather data are the first critical steps to ensure enough data is gathered. Doing the early research to determine what and how much information is needed sets you on the right path to completion. The timeline of when the project or report is due also acts as a finish line. Duplicate and / overwhelming information will only complicate the end result.

When is it time to flip the switch?

womens-fashion-trends-springsummer-2016-3-620x531I love the program Yes, for the Dress. I love Randy and the stylists that are featured. I also find the family dynamics around the bride to be very interesting. Kleinfeld consultants are there to sell a wedding dress but most importantly, the bride must be happy with the purchase. If the bride is not happy, the consultants empathize and let them think overnight about which dress works best.

What I find amazing is that after trying on 50 or more dresses whether at Kleinfeld or another shop, some brides still struggle to decide! I believe that means the decision is not just about the dress anymore but more about the marriage. If you cannot flip the switch to buy a dress, can you probe for the real issues? I use these brides as case studies for clients who seem to have the same behaviors.

Successful leaders learn from failing

A key laying on a piece of paper with the word "leadership" on it.

Many leaders that are afraid of failing, end up failing by not taking risks. They play it safe by choosing the path of least resistance for success. The leaders willing to be creative and explore options not guaranteed to win end up winning. They know that failure is a learned event on the path to more successful wins.

Alternative truth/facts

ElephangRecently the news has featured constant dialog about the phrase alternative truth / facts. In my work, I have noticed that some clients struggle to face hard facts like not missing deadlines, poor work performance and grasping real truths. I think these people are headed for career growth disappointment. Until they can truly be honest with themselves by letting go of the spin, they will lack the credibility and respect of their peers and peers are who senior leaders look to for validating promotions. Unfortunately, fact deniers may end up without a role in any organization.

Workout clothes

nike-esquire-sneakers-white
Many companies have gyms in their buildings for employees to conveniently work out during lunch or before / after work. While this is your private time, it does not mean that you should wear clothes that look like you are ready to clean your garage. You never know who you will bump into!

In fact, you can use working out as an informal way to network. You don’t have to wear the latest matching workout clothes and shoes (which I find a bit contrived but I do like the fun shoes men are wearing!).  Just look clean and smart. Also, make sure the clothing is not too small. I recently saw women wearing leggings that left nothing to the imagination – not an appealing sight.

Zip the lip

no_talking1Social media has a life of its own. It is worse than gossip and can haunt those who traffic in it and anyone around them. Facebook and Twitter are platforms to express news and instant emotional reactions, good and bad.
People have even gotten fired for being caught up in loose comments made in the news by high powered folks. They thought if it was ok by those folks, then they could say it too. However, the reality is that some have power and freedom without repercussions and others face the wrath. If something is that important for you to express it in writing, write the words to yourself first and decide the way you want to handle it the next day.

Swimming with the sharks

sharksRecently, a well-known prime time news anchor tried to validate a point with a spokesperson by asking a question about a lie from the spokesperson’s team that appeared on the news. This anchor is known for integrity and has a knack for handling sensitive subjects with the guests on the show.

The spokesperson was a shark, a fast talker employing a high spin level skill at making observations and details sound like facts. The anchor, unfortunately, did not respond well even though he the truth was behind the question.

What I would recommend, is to ask the questions at least three times. Then, instead of doing the cha-cha with the guest, end the conversation on a high note by letting the other person to wallow in their own comments. Don’t swim with the sharks unless you possess some shark skills of your own!