Whether you're shooting for your next career jump or your next promotion, appearances count now more than ever. It's important to think about the image you present -- an extension of your personal brand, if you will. At the same time, you are the public face of your company. What you say, do and how you look matters.
First impressions count, and your professional wardrobe is a big part of your first impression. Here are a few guidelines for looking good but still professional. Your goal? To look the part of something on the way up -- someone your boss will be proud to introduce to potential clients.
Wear clothes that impress
In essence, everyday is showtime. The key is to look pulled together. Choose more tailored options -- pants rather than capris; shirt dress rather than the sundress.
Don't underdo it on Casual Friday
You never know who you'll run into. You don't want to be the person in a tattered concert T-shirt and sneakers who is asked to step into a meeting. Make sure that you are still within company guidelines, and stay polished. Try darker rinsed jeans that are rip-free and tailored shirts.
Do light hair and makeup
Perfection is not the goal; who can manage that everyday? Think clean and fresh -- sheer foundation, mascara and neutral liner and lipstick. If you wear blush, blend well so you don't look like you just came down from a mountain. For hair, the idea's neat but not fussed with.
Have a signature something
Don't be afraid to show a little personality. Think a cut, a color or an accessory you wear regularly. Individual style gives you an edge at any job. This will allow you to make a statement about yourself.
Don't dress sexy -- or even suggestively. No low necklines, high hemlines, too-tight anything or stomach exposure. The last thing you want is to look like you don't belong. You want to make sure you get noticed for your great work, not your tight pants, overdone makeup, short skirt or cleavage-revealing shirt.