Being out of college feels like a permanent holiday, but this holiday cannot last. Soon, you will be competing for jobs, promotions, name, fame and wealth. When applying for jobs, you will realise that the college style of life is over! At work, no one dresses, acts or talks like a teenager. So, what skills do you need to attract people to like you, hire you, retain you and promote you?
Sure, you go for a job interview with your academic knowledge and technical ‘hard skills’, as proven with your education and internships, (if any) on your resume. But at interviews, at work and in real life, you need something else. Nervousness sets in, and there are issues of introductions, dress codes, makeup, handshakes, exchanging business cards, attending dinner meetings and more.
Suddenly, only your personality and communications skills are on display! Now, you feel a need for soft skills. Self-confidence, telephone skills, impressive body language, communication and interpersonal skills all come into play. People are judging you by the cover, just like you judge them! Here are some valuable tips to be confident and attract attention for climbing the ladder to success.
First, attract with your outer personality
Invest in a full-length mirror and privately scrutinise yourself. Are you standing on your own two feet, straight and tall, without bending a knee? Practice your broadest of smiles; avoid plastic smiles. Only confident people can hold a true smile naturally. Talk to your mirror; introduce yourself, what you do, and introduce others without ‘eh’ or ‘ers’ to think. Use your right hand to gesture more and don’t point with fi ngers. Look around the room, without moving your feet. Speak clearly and confidently, stress important words and use a smile. Is your voice clear and gentle? Practice listening skills by nodding and small remarks. Allow others to speak. Never interrupt in the middle of a sentence. Start with, ‘Excuse me for interrupting, I’m…’ Always end with graceful goodbyes for a good day.
Your clothes speak volumes about you
Dress fashionably smart, but don’t bring attention to your body, only to your work. Your dressing style will depend not only the occasion, but your rank also. Favourable professional colours are white and all the pastel to medium tones. Dark tops are suitable only in the evenings. Most business jackets are in dark colours teamed with light coloured shirts. Summer and outdoor events are times for light coloured jackets. Attractive ties can contrast or match one colour in the shirt or pant. Belt colour must match shoes. Many people notice you from down to up! Closed shoes go with Western wear and strappy styles require clean, pedicured toes.
Build attraction by grooming Sport
A fashionable hairstyle to frame your face and no flyaway hair with the help of hairspray. Ladies should have a hint of makeup, clean lightly polished nails and comfortable heels. Say no to plastic bags, bulging bags or plastic pens.
Ready to speak now
Introduce yourself with all that confidence! Give your full name C-L-E- A-Are-L-Y. And no more college responses of Yah! Nah! Professionally, it’s a proper “Yes,” and thanks or a smiling, “No,” thank you.
Actions are louder than words
Respect others and gain respect too. Always knock before entering, even if the door is open. Sit upright with your chest slightly forward to show attention. Avoid crossing your legs and showing the back soles of your shoes. Like kids, the best way to learn is by copying. Observe successful people and imitate their best points.
Communicating and getting along is a skill
All smart people shower sincere compliments and thank people for their ideas or help, loudly and in public. Only criticise in private, explain gently and have constructive solutions handy. Apologising for errors makes you more respectable and not weaker.
By now you’ve gained insight into professional stature, confidence, image and style. You’ll soon be climbing the ladders to success in your professional life. Good luck!