Thursday, 23 September 2010
September 2010 Newsletter - Informed and Employed

Hi Friends!

Here we are entering into a new season...Autumn leaves and colder weather is just around the corner, and we have the opportunity to update our wardrobes with new fall/winter clothing!  As the leaves change, and the weather gets crisp, you will want to start wearing your coats, jackets and sweaters - and you may think about replenishing some of those essential fall classics.  When you invest in these colder weather basics, make sure you are investing in pieces that will last, are worth the money and look perfect for your body type and fit into your personal and professional needs.  If you have questions about what to buy or how to do it, please email me or call to set up a time for a complimentary consultation!

Please let me know if you or your company would like to inquire about a dress for success seminar based upon the specific needs of your firm, small business or corporation.

Don't waste your money on pieces that aren't going to work for you in the long run! Invest wisely!

The article below is for everyone - including my student readers who are looking for a job!



Mila Grigg; President, MODA Image Consulting

The rising cost of education is creating graduates who start their promising futures tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average annual tuition (plus expenses) at a private nonprofit four-year college is about $35,000, and $12,283 for public institutions.  Throw in the needed post graduate degrees, and today's student can be in a great deal of debt before they have earned a dollar.

By the time they have graduated, they have an impressive education, are most likely in a great deal of debt, and in today's tightening job market - unemployed.  

How do you get an advantage and create the best opportunity for success? 
There are some tried and true ideas that have fallen through the cracks of many of today's job seekers - even though marketing companies and advertisers are capitalizing on them.  We live in a visual world, and yet colleges today spend very little time, if any at all on teaching students the importance of personal presentation and image.  It has been said that we all begin to form those vital first impressions about a person or product within the first three seconds of seeing someone or something.  Before you've ever said a word or extended your hand, people have already formed these valuable impressions, but more importantly, they have decided if you are even worth listening to.  Social psychologists have determined that it takes about 30 seconds for someone meeting you for the first time to form a laundry list of impressions about your character, and based upon your image alone - your abilities.

Companies spend millions of dollars creating a corporate brand, and today's employee and new graduate needs to understand the importance of creating a personal brand.  Unfortunately, no one seems to be sharing the importance of proper fashion, professional presence and business etiquette, yet most companies are complaining that it is needed.

Success begins each morning in front of the mirror each morning. 
Everyone must ask themselves - What does my wardrobe say about me?  What is the personal brand that I am projecting to potential employers and customers?  Do I LOOK reliable? Do I LOOK trustworthy? Do I LOOK detail oriented?  Do you project who you are and what your company or clients need you to be?  Let's not be confused by the marketers of the designing world and think that everyone must wear a certain outfit, be 6 feet tall or have an unreal expectation of one's body shape.  We can all project the best image of ourselves with some planning, and if needed, some professional advice.  A good quality wardrobe does not cost you a year's pay; a good wardrobe is using the right clothing and the appropriate fashion to fit your body shape and style - and of course, one that portrays to the world how you feel about yourself.  
Sometimes this can be as simple as creating a new look from your existing closet, and other times it may mean investing in a few choice pieces of clothing that provide a reliable base for improving your personal fashion.  
Creating an image that defines who you are while being clearly communicated to the world is not merely a luxury 'want' - learning proper professional presence is a necessary investment in yourself, especially if you want to survive and be competitive during this economy.

Fashion creates a competitive advantage.
Research over the years tends to show that people who are well groomed, well mannered and well spoken are assumed to be more competent.  The way you dress reflects directly on the company you work for (or own!) - The last thing you want to do is to create any doubt in your ability or the ability of the company.  Your clothing is an extension of who you are, you need to make sure that your 'fashion' is not saying something negative about you or your abilities.

 Employers do not see your diploma or even your resume - but they all eventually see you.  When I speak to graduating university students I stress the importance of image first, before resumes. The point of a resume is to share what you know, what you have done and your skills; if you walk in the door and do not look the part, your resume is a useless piece of paper.  I always tell them that if they remember nothing else from my seminar, they need to remember the idea that people see you before they hear you.  This means that people have already established whether or not what you have to say is of any value to them at all - regardless of your prior successes, intelligence and degrees.

In a study done of over 150 large corporations, they ranked poor appearance as being worse than a 'hostile overbearing know- it- all.'  Another study involved sending out identical resumes to more than a thousand companies - some had before pictures attached and some had after pictures attached of the same person, and each company was asked to determine a starting salary.  The results were incredible - starting salaries ranged 8-20% higher as a result of upgrading a mediocre business appearance to one that is polished and effective. 

If companies are spending millions of dollars creating the right corporate brand, sending the right first impression and creating a " Look" or "Logo" that people can remember - you should do the same thing.  Creating a personal brand is as important if not more important than the diploma that you have spent so much money on obtaining.  Proper fashion at work or in an interview leads to the best first impression, builds confidence and sends a message that says I respect your time.  Professional presence such as fashion, etiquette and body language are the foundations for forming a positive review of who you are and then what you know.   There are many educated individuals today who do not understand that this is a visual world, and the importance of determining a personal brand is crucial to being successful.  Improper dress can certainly take away from your expensive education, but proper dress can only enhance it.  

You are now educated, informed and hopefully employed or close to it.  Take the time to complete your education, learn about proper fashion, start to invest in yourself and be certain to make your visual first impression one that is positive and lasting.

Photo courtesy of

Image | Brand | Fashion |
Direct: (615) 218.6831 | Office: (615) 567.6969

Consultations are always complimentary!

Posted on 09/23/2010 12:00 AM by Mila Grigg, CEO
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