Course Outcomes

This personal branding and dress-for-success course will:

  • Outline the importance of choosing the right look for the right job.
  • Highlight the idea of personal branding and the importance of defining a personal and professional brand.
  • Review business dress, business casual dress, and casual dress.
  • Highlight important grooming considerations for every workplace.
  • Help participants look professional and appropriate on any budget.

Course Overview

Unfair as it may be, we judge others and, in turn, we are judged on appearance. The good news is that this is one area of our lives where we can take the wheel and make significant changes that will positively impact our careers. This fast-paced, lively course offers participants sound advice and simple steps they can take to immediately transform their professional image without a fairy godmother or magic potion. If there’s a Sloppy, Sleazy, Frumpy, or Dopey in your workplace who needs a style makeover, this program will serve them well.

Program Objectives

At the program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain how having a professional appearance can boost the chance for workplace success and how not having one can lead to disaster.
  • Understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate business attire.
  • Know the components of traditional business dress for men and women.
  • Define “business casual” dress as the term applies to their workplace.
  • Distinguish crucial grooming considerations that are part of a professional presence.
  • Recognize the role of accessories in maintaining a professional appearance.
  • Appreciate behaviors beyond clothing choices that contribute to a positive business image including body language, vocal tones, and personal habits.
  • Locate resources for shopping and services.
  • Develop a personal action plan to improve their professional image.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho: Before Leaving Home

In this introductory discussion, participants will discover the benefits of presenting themselves professionally in the workplace and the consequences of not making this a priority. Regardless of ability, work ethic, sense of responsibility, and productivity, people are most readily judged by the image they present to others because this is what others first see. Physical appearance is one area within their control, and the rewards of learning a few rules will help participants enhance their credibility, boost their self-confidence, and ultimately help them serve as powerful representatives for their organization.

Coal Mine or Gold Mine?: Choosing What Is Appropriate

Most organizations have basic dress standards for their employees and spell out the policies in handbooks or other written documents. This second unit moves beyond the basics to encompass subtle distinctions in levels of appropriateness. Using a series of photographs, the instructor will demonstrate how what might be perfectly acceptable in one work setting would not be appropriate in another. Additionally, participants will see how under the umbrella term of “appropriate attire” there are multiple interpretations.

Getting in Step: Traditional Business Dress

While styles, geographical regions, climate, and the nature of a business all play a part in the establishment of what is acceptable and appropriate for the workplace, there are abiding conventions that stand apart from these other considerations. In this component, participants will learn the standards that currently exist in the American workplace regarding professional appearance for men and women.

Who’s in Charge Here?: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of “Business Casual”

With many businesses adopting the practice of having a designated dress-down Friday or week of relaxed clothing standards, there are benefits as well as problems associated with this change. In this portion of the training, participants will learn both the pluses and minuses of casual appearance in the workplace through interactive exercises and group discussions. They will also understand that “casual” is not synonymous with “careless.”

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall: What Others Will See

In this segment, participants will receive information to help them assess their shapes, sizes, and physical features for the purpose of selecting clothing and accessories that are not only professional but also becoming. They will learn how to choose styles, fabrics, and colors that are flattering to them individually and that will be appropriate for the workplace.

Poison Apple Breath:  Deal-Breaking Grooming Goofs

While the information may seem self-evident, participants will learn in this unit how to be aware of details that destroy an otherwise professional image. From keeping hands and nails in perfect shape to maintaining hairstyles that are flattering, they will be reminded that even small slips in personal grooming routines can have devastating consequences.

Glass Slippers in the Ballroom, Not the Boardroom: Accessorizing Like a Pro

Even if an outfit is perfect in size, cut, and color, nothing can ruin the overall effect faster than scuffed shoes, pantyhose with runs, cheap briefcases, or backpacks left over from school days. In this portion of the program, participants will discover the small image busters that will keep them from having a professional presence and know how to pick accessories that will last and still be in style years after they are purchased.

Picture Perfect: Putting the Finishing Touches on a Professional Image

In addition to the information participants will be given about wardrobe selection, accessories, and grooming, they will also learn in this segment how body language, voice, and specific habits can enhance or detract from their overall professional presence. They will see through demonstration how posture, arm placement, hand gestures, and eye contact can go a long way toward enhancing appearance and establishing credibility and authority. They will also see how habits such as nail biting, gum chewing, and hair twirling can have quite the opposite effect.

Magic Wands Not Needed: Resources within Reach and Reason

This final lesson includes valuable information on where participants can go to find items and services they need to produce a professional image. Following the completion of a self-assessment form, they will be aware of areas that need improvement and should understand the steps they can take toward developing a more polished image that will help them reach their professional goals.

At the completion of this personal branding training program, participants will know why having a professional presence is important to their success. They will be able to identify appropriate and inappropriate attire for their positions and for their workplaces. They will understand the meaning of “traditional” business attire and the limitations of the term “business casual.” They will also be aware of grooming details, speech and movement behaviors, and personal habits that can improve their image immediately.