Have you ever wondered what people think of you when they first see or meet you? In doing some research on the subject, I read that 55% of the way others perceive you is based on how you look. Your “Image” is extremely important because it affects others opinions of you and may decide the outcome of future relationships.
Some people feel that if someone judges you that they are superficial and should be focusing on your character or skills. I tend to agree… however, when meeting or coming into contact with someone we don’t know, it’s easy and instinctive for us to make a quick decision based on how they look. In regards to business relations, our image can create connections or set boundaries whether this was the outcome you intended or not.
Think of your image as a 30 second commercial that tells others about who you are and where you want to go based on your appearance. You want to ask yourself: Is my image sending the right message to help me reach my goals? Am I getting the response desired by customers/employees? Remember that image is a valuable tool in business and relationships. If you’re not receiving the desired results in relation to confidence, power or success, it’s possible that you may not be sending the right message.
In business, it’s very important to always be professional. In regards to image, your personal appearance goes a long way. Let’s face it… you are the face of your business. If you work for yourself or are employed by a company, you are the “representative” for that company. You come into contact daily with people and when on the job, you want to put your best foot forward to look and act your best.
A professional appearance makes others respect you and value your business. You will be taken seriously when you present a professional look. The basics of maintaining personal hygiene are a must. If you wear jeans and a t-shirt to work and really want to “stand out” as a professional…invest in purchasing and wearing a uniform. Select navy or khaki colored work pants and a button down shirt, belt or even a tie if your type of work allows. You can find options for “uniforms” online.
If you operate work equipment, the inside and outside should be clean and neat. No clutter on seats or the dash. Be sure to provide regular maintenance to keep your equipment in excellent working condition.
A good professional image also includes portraying a positive attitude. Be polite, kind and courteous to others around you. Get to work early or on time and be helpful whenever you can. Be knowledgeable in the areas of your job and expectations of the company.
I realize some of these areas seem basic, however you can have all the skill, talent and knowledge about your job but without a professional image and appearance you won’t be respected or taken seriously. If you want to achieve your professional and personal goals, you need a solid awareness of what that “IMAGE” is for you.


Comments (5)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

Read These Next...

CAREER Smart Resources

CAREER Smart Resources

Finding Your Own Customers

August 27, 2012

CAREER Smart Resources

Networking 101

August 09, 2016


Good blog and so true, fair no, BUT 1st impressions are very important. We are required to wear Dockers style pants and a company logo button up shirt along with nice causal dress shoes while at customer locations (on long travel days I dress down a bit, boots, newer jeans and the company shirt BUT still very neat and professional looking), I get asked regularly if I work in a store when I stop to shop as a customer (apparently I look like the manager or something), unfortunately a lot of drivers do NOT portray a very professional appearance, I often joke that I can't be a super trucker because I don't wear cut off sweat pants, a wife beater and flip flops while driving, improving our image starts with each of us and Henry you have set the bar high, maybe one day I will wear a tie too! Oh and I keep the dash clean, even have to use the dash duster about once a week because the dust bothers me, I guess I am a neat freak to some extent!

July 24, 2014 23:42:45 PM

Very good blog Henry and it is so true. Your picture might give me nightmares! But I must admit the comparison between your two pictures certainly drives your point home.

July 08, 2014 14:02:18 PM

Tom that experiment you performed on how you are treated will make you think twice when you dress in the morning. Many years ago we also performed much the same experiment with the same results. Not only are you treated different you carry yourself different. Good Job and I agree with the rest of your comments.

July 07, 2014 5:22:04 AM

Henry PLEASE as a friend NEVER wear a wife beater and a campaign hat again... EYE BLEACH!!

Seriously as Jeff has said I have seen a trend of drivers taking more pride in how they dress. In my case I often wear jeans but do make sure they are clean and neat. Recently I have begun wearing button up work shirts almost exclusively, and have noticed a difference in how I am treated by others. A few weeks ago I had lunch in a small Diner on a Sunday. I was dressed neatly in a work shirt and dark pants. Almost everyone greeted me in some for or another and several people started a conversation with me. Another driver or 2 was there as while clean they were more in the t-shirt and shorts variety (work shorts ala UPS style) I noticed while they were not treated badly they did not generate the same degree of response that I did.

A few days later I had a day off around the truck stop so decided as I was doing some work around the truck to wear a t-shirt and a pair of Dickies work shorts. Still neat, still presentable, but I noticed and felt a change in how I was perceived
People seemed more distance and less willing to approach me in a friendly fashion.

It truly amazed me what a few simple changes in wardrobe does to ones image and how we are perceived and treated. Is it fair NO but that said if we want to be treated as professionals and with respect perhaps we should start looking and acting the part..

July 05, 2014 23:05:57 PM

I think that in many ways we are reversing a trend. I am noticing fewer pajama truckers. Most trucker will never take it as far as your with the shirt and tie. But, I have noticed that wearing a pair of khakis instead of jeans doe not make me uncomfortable. My shirt is usually a race shirt that I have earned running a 5k or longer race. I change my shirt everyday or sooner when I spill something on it. Just being clean is important.

I laughed a little at the clutter on the dash. I had a friend who worked for the same company as I did, We were both company drivers back then. We ran basically the same equipment. His dash was stacked high, mine was clean. He was constantly getting pulled around back-another reason to keep a clean dash.

July 05, 2014 6:28:35 AM