Tips for looking more professional - page 2

Looking for tips and advice for students getting ready for the real world (and really all nurses) looking to change their look to something more appropriate to the workforce. I am thinking I... Read More

  1. by   purplemania
    Years ago I read of a study by marketing students where one female student went to a makeup counter in a department store with her hair a mess, sloppy clothes, etc. She had a hard time getting people to even wait on her. She returned an hour later well groomed. Not only did they fuss over her, she was offered free samples, etc. Since they never really "looked" at her before, they did not realize she was the same person they had earlier dismissed. Being well groomed makes you and the other person feel better.
  2. by   climberrn
    The only thing I'd caution you on is the hair. If it's really curly, make sure you go to someone who knows how to cut curly hair. If you don't, a bob will end up being very poofy which can look more unprofessional than if it's tied back.
  3. by   kukukajoo
    Well I just got my hair cut!!! She did an awesome job, and yes I was VERY nervous, as my hair is so curly if they don't cut it right it ends up way too short or just a huge mess! It is now a comfortable layered bob with some volume at the bottom and off my collar. It feels kicky and I could dress it up or down!!

    I looked 10 years younger walking out of the place!

    I like the blazer idea- a pair of jeans, tshirt and a blazer and casual shoes can look very casual and fit anywhere. Most of my suit jackets are just too dressy even for that as they are tailored but I will be working on coordinating some outfits that will better portray where I am headed in my future, not where I am today (wishing I had tons more sleep!).

    Those softt shoes look great! I can't wait to try a pair out!

    Thanks for everyone's ideas, and please keep adding to them!
  4. by   KellieNurse06
    I was going to say cut your hair but just saw the post that you did !!! yay! Nothing looks more tackier ( to me anyway) than when you see an older woman with long hair unless she looks really young & styles it nice and can carry it off. I mean come on...chop that stuff off!!! You get to a point in your age when it's inappropriate looking. My dad's girlfriend is 60 & has long long hair ( like almost to her waist) & keeps it in a ponytail ..plus it's all gray...it looks absolutley horrible...I mean come on!!!! lol! I sound like a prude lol!!! But seriously.......I agree with the better you dress & groom, the better others treat you...it's absolutely true I think as well. You are lucky that you look really young by the sounds of it......I get mistaken tons of times for being very young also...... when people hear I have a 17 year old that don't know me,they look at me in disbelief......it's a hoot seeing their expression
  5. by   AirforceRN
    I've always been fascinated by the way people dress for school and work. I've always been a jean and shirt kind of guy and feel comfortable in that. For presentations / interviews / functions its usually pants and a button up shirt. I don't know if I really look better but it makes me feel more confident and I'm sure I come across that way too. What interests me is the girls who come in for an 0830 class that look ready to go clubbing afterwards...makeup and all. If they feel comfortable in that than more power to them but man, it must mean they get up EARLY! I just don't have the drive to work that hard on appearance I guess. Shower, shave, get dressed, get out...that's me.
  6. by   RN BSN 2009
    yes it's true.. if you look like you just rolled out of bed... people will treat you like that
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    i'm glad someone mentioned dressing like a professional for education days, etc. new moms are constantly bringing their babies in to show them off, and these women look like they just rolled out of bed. unkempt hair, no make-up, sweats ("but nothing else fits") with baby drool down the front -- looks like heck and doesn't do much for the professional image! not to mention that screaming infants aren't the best thing for concentrating on whatever class we're supposed to be concentrating on!

    if you're walking into your place of employment for whatever reason (notice i said walking, not being wheeled into the er covered in blood) you should make the effort to look professional. you do get treated better, and i think you should. if you make an effort to look professional, you should be treated as a professional while if you're a walking advertisement for "extreme makeover" perhaps you shouldn't be!
  8. by   kukukajoo
    lol, I just wanna know how some of them can wear 5" heels so darned early in the day!!
  9. by   traumaRUs
    I had to laugh at some of these recent posts:

    I worked in our ER for 10 years and was NEVER a patient there. However, I'm on the rescue squad as a volunteer and we got a full arrest call at 2 in the morning, so I trudge on over there in sweats and flip-flops. Well, the paramedics asked that I ride in with them since we are about 45 minutes from the hospital because I could give drugs,etc. (I'm a prehospital RN). Well, we pull up to our ER and voila the whole staff sees me with no bra, sweats, now I'm sweating because we've been doing CPR on and off and shocking, etc. No one ever let me forget it.

    I went to a Macy's store one day to look at purses. I'm certainly not wealthy but if I'm looking at it I can afford it. I had on sweats and flip flops that day too. So...I politely ask the clerk if I can look at a purse and she asks if I have a way to pay for it! I was pretty upset but held my temper and walked out.

    However, I do not, ever, ever, ever leave my house without a bra and real clothes!!!!
  10. by   not now
    Quote from purplemania
    Years ago I read of a study by marketing students where one female student went to a makeup counter in a department store with her hair a mess, sloppy clothes, etc. She had a hard time getting people to even wait on her. She returned an hour later well groomed. Not only did they fuss over her, she was offered free samples, etc. Since they never really "looked" at her before, they did not realize she was the same person they had earlier dismissed. Being well groomed makes you and the other person feel better.
    I have to confess. I "bum it" on purpose (jeans, plain shirt, flip flops) when I shop for clothes because I hate when sales people follow me around. I know it's part of the job but even when I politely say "I'm fine. I don't need any help right now, thanks" they still follow me. Drives me nuts.

    I'm a weird stage now because I'm 26. Too old for some things, not old enough for others.
  11. by   kukukajoo
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I went to a Macy's store one day to look at purses. I'm certainly not wealthy but if I'm looking at it I can afford it. I had on sweats and flip flops that day too. So...I politely ask the clerk if I can look at a purse and she asks if I have a way to pay for it! I was pretty upset but held my temper and walked out.
    Oh man, I would be getting the manager on this one!

    I have also noticed the difference in how you appear to how you are treated and it is huge but there is NO excuse for that salesperson's actions!!

    LOL, we have Bike Week up here and lots of my friends who ride come from all over. Every year we take a ride to Portland, ME for lobster on the waterfront. We stopped in an antique shop and we were all followed around like common criminals and the store clerks were on us like flies! Now these "Bikers" I was with were almost all multi-millionaire contractors from CT and they got the biggest kick out of the behavior of the store personnel and kind of played with them a bit!! You woulda thought we were a bunch of Hells Angels!!

    I know that this year in school I have been 'slummin it' in huge part due to a medical problem I have that has greatly affected my energy and stamina. Beginning of year I was going to class and straight home to bed and I know I looked it, but hey I was just happy to be there and wasn't gonna let this illness dictate my life.

    But now, my energy is mostly back and I just seem to have gotten stuck in that rut and it's time to pull myself out of it for sure. Haircut was a start, I refreshed my color last nite and did my eyebrows. Will be wearing makeup more often now as well. Time to just take better care in general I suppose.
  12. by   charlies
    I think it goes without saying that it is a good idea to go business professional for job interviews.

    For work, scrubs, lol.

    Otherwise...please, leave me alone.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    At work/in the hospital:

    No chewing/popping gum PLEASE!!!! If you have to,get rid of the gum if you can't have it inconspicuously.

    Make up, if used, conservative please!

    Try make sure uniforms you do wear fit well and are in fairly good condition. IF you wear hospital-scrubs, please look to be sure pockets are not torn or there are not penned-on vital signs up and down the legs, if at all possible.

    Please, do us all a favor and Leave the perfume and long or artificial/painted nails for dates or home only!

    Name badge prominently displayed (with name/picture actually VISIBLE) please---backward and on your beltline just looks unprofessional and can't be read by anyone!

    Address yourself professionally to all you meet in your day, patients, family members etc. Name and credential, good idea, when introducing yourself to patients/family at your workplace.


    Don't be one of the ones sitting/standing around the nurses' station gossiping loudly----looks very bad!


    Stand straight/proud and be clear, genuine, and direct in your communication/physical posture and gestures.

    I agree with llg also, if you go for a hospital-sponsored or mandated education/class, please dress the part a bit more. Flipflops and sweats/jeans just don't look good at these things.

    All these may seem obvious, but it just seems to me, people tend to focus on uniform, hair, etc, when wondering how to look more professional, which is VERY valid. But the perfect hair do and iron/pressed uniform don't help if your whole-person is not professional in behavior, too!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 1, '07

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