Since the clocks have sprung forward an hour, you may be tempted to begin Spring cleaning your home. But first, try to clean up your professional image. I have a business partner who interviews for jobs year-round, even if she is not actively looking for work. She does this because she wants to keep her interview skills current and learn what the most competitive rate is for her skills. This is a practice that I’ve adopted, after some preparation.
First, I needed a new interview suit. And the new updates to LinkedIn made my page look bare. Plus, I had a make-up palette that didn’t match the more tinted hue my skin would adopt in the warmer months. If you are interested in taking some steps to refresh your personal brand, here are some tips for boosting your image so that you can test your value on the market and attract new opportunities.
Get a Spring/Summer appropriate interview wardrobe
If you are anything like me, you bought an interview suit in your senior year of college. And the suit is made of a fabric that only worked for the season in which you landed your first job. I needed an upgrade. Some brands that I shop for basic work pieces now are Club Monaco and Zara. But I always visit Fashionista.com or Racked.com for sale alerts. And if you just need to pepper in some jewelry or a contemporary blazer, try Rent the Runway so you don’t have to pay full retail prices.
Select a color palette for a sun-kissed you
If you wear make-up, make sure that you update your color palette to match your current skin tone. Stores like Sephora offer complimentary makeovers if you want to test out a few foundations before you buy them. Also, ask for a color palette that reflects the colors that you wear most often.
Make sure your LinkedIn page reflects your new look
Refresh all social media profiles with a photo of your beautiful new look. If you want help with your headshot, do an Eventbrite.com search for free headshot sessions. LinkedIn frequently offers them nationwide. According to the company’s blog profiles with a photo are 21 times more likely to be viewed and up to 36 times more likely to receive a message. If you want real-time feedback on your photo, you can upload it to Photofeeler.com.
Apply to jobs you normally wouldn’t
Once you have updated your physical appearance and digital presence, apply to jobs in and outside of your city. If you get an interview that is out of town, you can ask your potential employer to pay for your travel. The experience will allow you to practice your interview skills and possibly discover positions that are much better than your current one.
Most jobs are found through networking, not applying online. So a little reboot to your image can help you stand out and build some new connections that could lead you to a more prosperous future.
Post by Christian McKenzie
Christian McKenzie is a retail marketer who has worked for Macy’s, Sears Holdings Corporation and Pear (formerly Apparel Media Group). You can follow her journey on Twitter at @xian_mckenzie.