Professional Image


How do you want others in the professional world to view you? This is an important question to consider, especially when you're job searching. Being seen as a professional, responsible person can open up opportunities and improve your chances of getting hired. 

First impressions  

  • Introductions: Always explain who people are and use their full names.  
  • Handshakes:  Make a "V" with your thumb and forefinger. Then extend your right arm across your body and pump about 2 times. Make sure your grip isn't too hard or too weak.  


hands shaking

 
 

  • Name tags: Wear your name tag on the right side of your front shoulder area. If your name tag is on a chord, make sure it's in the middle of your chest. It should be easy for people to see your name.

* Did you know current students can order business cards featuring the University of Kansas or Jayhawk logos through the University Career Center? These can be helpful to hand out in networking and other professional events, especially when you're job and internship searching. 

Professional communication 

  • Socializing vs. gossiping: Be friendly and polite to everyone, and volunteer to help out when you can. It's okay to have appropriate fun, but don't forget to communicate regularly and effectively. Stay away from cliques. 
     
  • Phone communication: Take notes during phone conversations to help you remember key points. Avoid talking on your cell phone in public. You should return messages within 24 hours when possible, and be aware of the rules about personal calls at your organization. 
     
  • Email communication: Know your work's policy regarding personal emails. When writing professional emails, double-check your grammar and punctuation. Remember: tone is difficult to understand in emails, so be thoughtful about your word choices. 

Professional Attire 

Business professional tips: 

  • Wear a dark-colored conservative suit, generally in black, brown, navy, or gray.
  • Solid colors or subtle patterns (e.g. pinstripes) look best.
  • Pair your suit with a complementary conservative, long-sleeved collared shirt or blouse, belt, and shoes.
  • Make sure your socks, shoes, and belt match your suit.
  • Avoid jewelry except for possibly a watch and a wedding or fraternity ring.
  • Make sure your hair and face are clean cut and any makeup is minimal.
  • Need business professional attire for an upcoming interview or event? Visit the P.H.O.G. Clothing Closet for free items of clothing. Choose from a variety of styles and sizes of suits, separates, shirts, accessories, and more to make a positive first impression. 

Business casual tips: 
 

  • Stay away from anything low-cut, tight, or revealing. 
  • Avoid jeans, t-shirts, and sweats, and use an iron when needed.
  • Find out the dress code of the organization, and think conservative; however, you can usually be more trendy than you can with business professional attire.