PROJECTING A PROFESSIONAL IMAGE

When applying for jobs, we often may not give enough thought to the workplace culture and how we can project an image that connects us not only to the job, but also to the organisational culture, image and brand.

 

1) Tips for Projecting a Professional Image at Interviews and Assessment Centres

 

The Interview or Assessment Centre is an opportunity for an employer to assess you as a potential employee and try to decide if you’re a good match for the organisation. In addition to determining if you have the right skills for the position; interviewers are usually trying to answer these questions:

  • Will you fit into the culture of your new workplace?

  • Will you behave in a professional manner?

  • Can you communicate effectively with other people?

  • What kind of employee are they getting if they hire you?

 

Presenting a professional image is an important part of the interviewer’s assessment of a candidate. The first impression you make is important and the interviewer will form an initial opinion based on your appearance and behaviour before you even speak, so:

  • Create a positive professional image by dressing and behaving appropriately for the interview/ assessment centre:

    • Different industries and organisations may have their own “standard dress code”. Research these standards before the interview!

    • Organisations vary widely in terms of the formality of the company culture. While financial firms, insurance companies, banks and legal firms tend to be conservative; some technology, engineering, start-up and creative companies may be less formal when it comes to interview attire and depending on the role for which you are interviewing.

    • Read through interview confirmation emails carefully – they may contain important details about the interview or even suggested attire.

    • Review websites and annual reports which often contain pictures.

    • If you know someone at the company ask about the dress code.

    • Speak to alumni and other networking contacts for industry tips

  • Practice a good firm handshake!

  • Be an interested listener – Listen actively and maintain good eye contact.

  • Use positive language – both in the words you use and in the body language you convey

 

2) Tips for Building a Positive Professional Online Presence – Leverage Social Media

  • Google yourself!
    94% of recruiters use, or plan to use social media for recruiting. Most employers will, at the very least, search for your name in Google. Before applying for jobs: check everywhere they’ll find you on Social media – your ‘Digital Footprint’– you might be surprised what shows up!

    • Clean up your social media profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc

    • Use consistent messaging across all profiles

    • Review your use of photos – what do your photos say about you?

  • Build a Positive Online Presence with  LinkedIn

  • See ‘Graduates – The importance of an online presence’ video:

 

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