Career & Money

Executive Presence — Do You Have What It Takes To Get Ahead?

You might find it a cliche, but dressing and grooming matters if you want to be on top

By The Weekly | March 8, 2016


The old adage “fake it till you make it” rings partially true. Though, perhaps it might be more apt to condense the notion with: “Dress for the job you want”. The article Do You Have Executive Presence? that appeared on states, “According to a new study by the Center for Talent Innovation, a non-profit research organization in New York, being perceived as leadership material is essential to being promoted into leadership positions. In fact, the 268 senior executives surveyed said “executive presence” counts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted.”

So if you are vying for a job promotion or really want to impress at that next pitch, book your manicure appointments and ditch those worn-out jeans. The same article points out “…major mistakes in appearance can be detrimental. More than three-quarters said unkempt attire detracts from both men and women’s executive presence, and among women specifically, 73% said too-tight or provocative clothing undercuts it.”

Nailing that next important meeting will be a lot easier if you use our simple checklist below.

Two days before:

  •  Pick Out Your Clothes (That Are Well-fitted)
    Loose, ill-fitted clothes may convey the message that you aren’t particular about details, which might not go down so well with a potential employer. Make sure you pick out a smart, well-tailored ensemble that isn’t too tight, either.
  • Spot Any Stains
    Doing a quick spot-check (literally) of your garments help at this point, so if there is any stain it can be quickly washed and dried out, or you can pick another outfit.

Day before:

  • Make Room To Groom Yourself
    If it means booking a mani-pedi, do it. If you are wearing nail polish, wear neutral colours like nude peach and white and they’re not chipped or smudged. Now is also the best time to wax your eyebrows and so on as well, as clean arches are tres professional. It’s also a good time buffer should your skin have a reaction to the waxing or threading process — so you don’t show up to the meeting with red, inflamed skin.
  • Smooth Out Any Wrinkles
    Take extra effort to get your outfit wrinkle-free by using a clothes steamer. If you can, try to avoid garments that wrinkle too easily.

 The day itself: 

  • Get Polished
    Check for any lint or pet’s fur on your clothes. Use a lint roller just to be safe, also check for any loose thread and snip them off.
  • Last Touches
    If you had a meal, make sure you brush your teeth afterwards, or check in a mirror that there aren’t any pieces of food lodged between your teeth. Don’t smoke beforehand (please!), don’t show up with sunglasses, don’t let any tattoos and piercings to be visible, don’t drench yourself in a strong perfume.


Good luck!

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