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How to Look Good on a Virtual Call


Make the Right Impression By Dressing the Part

By: Michele Stephens
April 7, 2020

WFH – Work from home. It’s our new norm, right?

The wise company has pivoted its face-to-face interactions to virtual and our new normal now means we are inviting our co-workers and clients into our homes.  Are you ready?

With a little planning and forethought you can make this pivot without sacrifice. When you consider your commute just got cut to :15, you might embrace those advantages to get the most out of your interactions!

CONSIDER YOUR SURROUNDINGS – whether you’re fortunate to have a dedicated office space, or not, still check on these things:

Position the device – face the light. Add a desk lamp if your face is dark on video. Be sure the device allows for a straight-on face shot (and not one that shoots up your neck or, even worse, your nose!).

Check your background – We’ll assume you won’t have laundry hanging in the background, but if your backdrop isn’t pleasing or professional, consider using a virtual background. Zoom and others allow you to upload your own image.  A ‘step and repeat’ logo of your company makes for a great option and keeps it ‘all business.’

What to Wear – the jokes are out there about only dressing from the waist up. We’ll let you decide on that one, but studies show you actually perform better when you dress the part! Keep it conservative and similar (or better) than how you dress at the office. Consider the message you send to co-workers – or your staff – if you ‘let down.’ We assume less is not acceptable if success is your goal. Why allow that in your dress? Select a color such as blue since it’s soothing and yet, professional.

What NOT to Wear – T-shirts, ball caps, work-out attire. You know how you are!

That reminds me of a story experienced by one of our clothiers in San Diego. She got a call from a long-time client who wanted 5 suits, PRONTO!  Knowing the client had been ‘casual’ for a few years, she knew there was more to the story. When asked, he told of how he’d lost his best client. When he asked the client why, he was met with: “Your competition arrived looking sharp, their pencils were sharp and every time we saw you, it looked like you were headed to a game of golf! We need to know you’re working for us – all the time!”

That prompted his return to more traditional work attire – suits, sport coats, tailored garments and a commitment to communicate he indeed was working!

Though this client had long since established a ‘first impression,’ in the days of market turmoil, projecting your very best tells people you are bringing your very best!

At Tom James, we’ve been through a few economic downturns since our founding in 1966. The dot.com bust of the early 2000's, 9-11; the recession in 2008; and each time, people came out of that time with a renewed commitment to dressing well.

There’s something unique about challenging times. They tend to bring out the very best in people as we often have to re-establish our business…to represent well…to communicate to current - and future –clients that we are capable and trustworthy.

So, why not get started now, with dressing WELL on your virtual calls? It will keep you in the right mode and get you ready to Spring Back into action!

 




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