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5 Ways to be more professional right now


The working world is all about appearance and it’s important to maintain a professional one. When you’re ready to jump start your career or revamp the one you’ve already begun, there are important things to keep in mind to demonstrate your professional demeanor. Below are a few quick steps you can start taking today to improve your professional lifestyle.

  1. Start a professional Twitter account. A simple step you can take today to create a more professional appearance is the creation of a Twitter account that focuses on things relevant to your career. If you’re an aspiring journalist, follow and retweet relevant articles from your favorite writers or role models. If you are interested in a medical career, tweet the latest medical articles that you’ve read on an area of research that interests you. Building your brand is all about a professional social media appearance, and Twitter brings you the platform you need to send a message that you are interested in your career.

  2. Create business cards. Even if you are a student, it’s important to have a business card with your name and contact information on you at all times. Say you are standing in a long line and chatting with someone next to you that happens to work for a company you’d be interested in applying to eventually. Instead of writing your name and email on a piece of paper, it’s much more professional to hand a business card to your new contact and hopefully they will hand you one in exchange. It’s quick, simple and only about $10 on sites like Instaprint.

  3. Dress appropriately. It’s so easy to throw on a baggy old t-shirt and gym shorts for class, but think of the message that sends to your professors. In my four years at school, I have never once seen a professor show up in sweatpants. If they can dress appropriately for you, then you should allow them the same courtesy. Also, dressing more professionally for class will make dressing professionally for your career an easy transition. Studies have also shown that dressing up for exams can help some people score higher, so what do you have to lose?

  4. Respond to emails right away. There have been a number of times that I have let emails slip through the cracks without a response because I told myself “I’ll respond later.” That doesn’t work in the professional world! Set aside a half hour each day to read through and respond to all your emails. If you are one of those people that reads them on your iPhone, don’t tempt yourself by reading the email on your walk to work, and then forget to respond. Just read the subject line, and if you know it’s important, leave the message unread until you have a moment to sit down and respond.

  5. Keep a neat workspace. If you are assigned a desk at your internship or even your personal desk at home, keep it organized. Creating a neat and professional workspace is one of the keys to a successful career. Papers strewn all over the place that you can never find, endless pens without ink or junk mail piling up on your desk is not the type of place you can come to accomplish your work. When you start your job, bosses will notice the condition of your workspace and keep personal organization in mind when they start assigning tasks.

Building your professional persona is something that happens overtime, however, taking simple steps each day makes all the difference.

About the Author

Nicole Schultz

Nicole is a University of Georgia senior majoring in Journalism. She enjoys travel, writing and current events. She hopes to one day be a travel writer or political correspondent for a magazine.

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