Career Advice

Crafting Your Professional Persona: Tips for a Standout Presence

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The job market is challenging to break into, now more than ever. This is especially true for entry-level job seekers, graduates, and those wishing to change career paths. To increase your chances of being hired, it is essential to come across as professional and likable – because nobody wants to work with someone they dislike. Once hired, being professional will gain respect from your colleagues, boss, or employees.

Read on to learn the five A’s: abilities, attitude, approach, actions, and appearance. These pointers will guide you to becoming your most professional self.


Consider how you could present your abilities and expertise in the best light to employers. It is vital to make a great first impression if you wish to be noticed among hundreds of applicants, sometimes more. The first step is to make sure your resumé is updated, easy to read, and demonstrates specific skills and experience relevant to the role.

Do not forget to include a concise cover letter addressed to your employer when applying – it comes across as respectful and earnest. A top tip is to avoid opening a cover letter with ‘To whom it may concern’. Instead, directly address your email to the employer (you may have to research this). 

To increase your chances of being hired, it is essential to come across as professional and likeable – because nobody wants to work with someone they dislike. Once hired, being professional will gain respect from your colleagues, boss, or employees.Click To Tweet

In addition to stating why you want to work there and why you would be a good fit for the role, a line or two about a recent development in the company or what area you are most interested in will show you have taken time to research the company.

To showcase your abilities professionally in the interview stages, for example, Diploma Makers duplicate your academic transcripts so that you can have a copy of your accomplishments to hand. Once hired, these can be displayed proudly in your office or at home.


A positive and determined attitude is key when job-hunting and often leads to faster results.

You may face many rejections or non-replies throughout the application process. It is crucial not to be disheartened by this and to view it as a learning curve. It is good practice to thank an employer for their time and consideration as a sign of respect. Having an attitude like this could even work in your favor in the future.

Also, be aware of what position you are applying to so you can adapt your tone accordingly. For instance, if it’s a creative role, demonstrating an innovative attitude in your cover letter may be received well. 


Understanding the industry you want to enter and at which level will help you approach jobs feeling prepared and qualified. It will also help determine appropriate jobs for your skillset and filter out jobs that applying for would prove unrealistic and unproductive.

However, for dream jobs that seem out of reach, researching and acquiring the necessary skills and attributes of the role will help carve a path toward where you want to be. For example, a recent business graduate who wishes to become a chief marketing officer will have to climb the corporate ladder by being a team player, working hard, thinking ahead, and networking effectively.


How you act (and do not act) to employers will impact the likelihood of you securing a job. There are a few actions to take to present yourself as professional and likable. They are as follows:

  • Create a LinkedIn account. This is the most popular online networking tool available. Make sure to outline in your bio your current role and for what job you are looking. For example, Modern Language graduates seeking translator and tutor roles.
  • Check your social media accounts are private or portray you well. Employers will search you, and a display picture of you looking intoxicated or a few questionable posts will not do you any favors.
  • Follow up with applications. If you have not heard back about your application, wait at least a week and then send a follow-up email. Showing keenness will let employers know you are serious about the opportunity.
  • Directly message the employer. If a follow-up email is not available to you or you have already tried that, messaging the relevant employer can make you stand out as wanting the job more than other applicants.
  • Prepare well for the interview. Comb through the job description again and create a list of your achievements that will impress the interviewer. Also, coming up with specific questions will show you to be switched on and motivated. For example, you could ask what success looks like in this role.
  • Ask employers for feedback after the interview stages, even if you do not get the job, it will help you with future applications.


This one may seem superficial, and that is because it is. Nonetheless, your appearance is the first thing employers notice about you. Looking presentable and well-groomed will give a good first impression. Whereas appearing unkempt will give employers the idea you are ill-prepared and unserious about the role. Some tips to boost your appearance before an interview or on your first day are to:

  • Find out the company dress code before the interview. Some companies are relatively casual, and you may look out of place in a suit.
  • Clean and iron your clothes. Interviewers are looking for the best and stains or creases may be noticed.
  • Smile. A friendly face will make you seem approachable and happy to be there.
  • Go the extra mile. A neat hairstyle, a new suit, or matching accessories will say to employers that you take care of yourself and can take on responsibility.


To go over, first, present your abilities well through your resumé and cover letter. Second, approach the job hunt with positivity, and you will not go far wrong. Third, understand the industry and relevant roles you are applying for to speed up the application process – doing your research will portray you as a professional to employers. Fourth, put yourself out there but do it sensibly. Finally, look the part.

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Dr. Diane Hodges presents an invaluable life-enhancing guide to help you achieve your career goals. 

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06/12/2024 06:41 pm GMT

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