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Showing Professional Competence Through Your Appearance

The key to workplace advancement and success is constant work. At least, that’s what most people think. However, people don’t always get a chance to see how you work and end up sometimes evaluating your performance based on your appearance and how you carry yourself.

As harsh as it may sound, the perception of one’s competence largely relies on appearance. No matter how hard you may work, your efforts might not be acknowledged if you have a bad first impression. For leaders, a good work ethic goes hand-in-hand with a professional appearance.

However, not everyone has a good idea of how to appear professional. To guide you, here are a few factors that contribute to a professional appearance.

Proper Grooming

There are a lot of things to pay attention to about grooming your appearance properly. Neglecting even the tiniest detail is sure to make it stand out. That’s why you should integrate proper grooming in your daily routine to ensure that you always look your best.

Haircare is a must in proper grooming. Keep your hair in good health by using not only shampoo but also conditioner to ensure that your hair maintains its shine. Harmful hair products will end up damaging your hair more, so use reliable hair product brands, such as Davines OI.

Another aspect that is usually ignored is the nails. Unkempt nails are easily noticeable to others since we do a lot of things with our hands. Make sure to cut your nails regularly and keep it short to prevent dirt from getting stuck underneath it.

Adherence to Company Dress Code

Wear clothing that is appropriate for a formal workplace setting. Standard company dress codes are formal and business casual, which is clothing that doesn’t have any bold colors or wacky designs. Stick to clothes that have neutral or light colors.


Men should buy a few suits in colors like blue or black. Avoid using novelty ties or ties with outrageous patterns. For business casual, patterned tops with long sleeves are acceptable, as long as they are muted.

Women should select a few skirts or pants suits that can pair interchangeably with various blouses and jackets. If you wear jewelry, don’t wear ones that ostentatiously stand out to others. In a formal setting, tights are preferable, but dark or nude-colored hosiery is also okay.

Body Language

Gradually train yourself into having a more confident body language when interacting with people. Doing this will not only help you have a favorable first impression but also boost your self-esteem. This is where the adage, “Fake it ’til you make it” is applicable.

When talking to someone, maintain eye contact to show that you are interested in and listening to what they are saying. However, if direct eye contact seems daunting, start by looking at places close to the eyes, such as the nose or forehead.

Maintain proper posture and keep your back straight. A slumped posture will give the impression that you are withdrawn and unwelcoming. Try using a posture corrector at home to train your body, or if it’s compact, wear it under your clothes when going to work.

With these pointers in mind, you can give off an appearance that is competent and reliable. Your professionalism can be seen not only through your actions but also your looks.

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