Women: 5 ways to present yourself professionally

From heel advice to neckline length, here’s how you should carry yourself in the business world, according to this female exec.


Amber Naslund is a familiar name to many in the social media/communications/PR world.

She’s an author, speaker, social media strategist, and currently blogs at Brass Track thinking where her post, An open letter to professional women: appearances matter, outlines how women should dress and act.

“Please do yourself a favor and make these investments in your professional demeanor and appearance,” writes Naslund, who dedicated a large portion of the post admitting to making all of these mistakes in the past.

Here are her tips:

Ditch heels you can’t walk in. Heels that leave you struggling to find your balance should be left in the closet. But if you insist on wearing them, “learn to walk in them without looking like a baby giraffe that’s about to head ass-over-teakettle,” Naslund advises. Otherwise, stick to heels you can walk in comfortably.

Don’t rock the cleavage. “Ample cleavage is unnecessary and distracting. Your clothes should fit and flatter, but there is a fine line between those things and calling too much attention to your assets during professional hours.” After hours are different story, ahem. Naslund, a self-described “amply-figured” woman, says she learned this the hard way when she was younger.

No limp handshakes. No one wants to shake a limp hand. Be firm. “A firm and confident handshake conveys confidence and authority,” she writes. “Grasp firmly, shake once, make eye contact and let go.”

Trim your use of “like” as a space filler. Start paying attention to how often you say “like” in a sentence—then limit its use. Overuse “makes you sound vapid and air-headed instead of the polished businesswoman that you are.”

Put the phone away and make eye contact. The ability to pay attention to conversations is an underrated skill. Put your phones away and look people in the eye when having a conversation. “Getting someone to notice you isn’t always about talking. Sometimes it’s about shutting up and paying attention to them,” Naslund says.

Ladies, do you agree? What would you add?

Topics: PR

COMMENT

Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.