Over the years, I have written and spoke about the importance first impressions at job interviews and the opportunities that come through providing a great presentation. Dressing, looking, and becoming the part is a necessity to compete in any job market. That is why I wanted to have Aaja Corrine, an image branding strategist, on the show to explain how important for a job seeker’s image and brand to be complete.
For this episode, Aaja Corinne and I talk about how to impact your audience by the way you dress. Aaja is an image consultant whose client list includes Babyface (yes, the singer/songwriter/producer) and Bianca Golden, America’s Top Model Contestant. Aaja’s media features include WVON in Chicago, JET magazine, and Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine.
What are some of your challenges in dressing for interviews or networking events? Does your wardrobe fit your professional image or personality? I would love your feedback on these questions or anything that you’ve heard on any of our shows in one of the three ways:
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Here are some of the highlights of what Aaja and I discussed:
1. Aaja coaches people to shape his or her brand perception through presentation – it affects your movement through the marketplace.
2. She helps people to brand through “signature” not “trends.” She works to understand the person’s job, everyday role, and company culture. She strives to get more information about the person’s personality and what makes them comfortable. Aaja says, “You should always wear the clothes – the clothes should never wear you.”
3. Aaja explains how a negative or a positive image affects your brand from her point of view. She says that your overall package should be as good as the professional substance. When you come to the table, and you don’t look prepared, people start to make assumptions about your capabilities, preparedness and credibility.
4.Your resume is no longer the sole factor in being hired, so you must look like a “brand ambassador” for the prospective company. She asks her clients,”What are your three words that you want to be perceived as?”
5. Aaja says that being adaptable is important to your image and brand. She suggests that you should take your cues from management to emulate their attire on regular workdays and casual days. It’s better to be a tad over-dressed than under-dressed.
6. Professional does not mean boring. You should have “staple” pieces and “statement” pieces. Listen as Aaja offer suggestions for her “power pieces.” There is a part where she says she can find a way to wear a white shirt with pajamas and make it look stylish!
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