10 No Cost Ways to Present Yourself at Your Best – #8 & #7

So how did it go last week?  Did you get rid of junk jewelry?  Did you pack away your holiday clothing and decide to save your favorite pajama pants for bedtime?  I hope so.

Working as an HR executive and Career Coach for over 20 years has been like getting paid to “people watch” at a shopping mall.  You can’t make this stuff up!  This series is dedicated to the little things that I have noticed people can do to treat themselves better and demonstrate that you value yourself and that you deserve to be treated well.  If you don’t feel that way about yourself – who else should?

This week, I have 2 additional tips for you.

#8.  Keep your hands clean, neat, and smooth.

Nothing is more unsightly than hands that are dirty or unkept in any way.  Think about it – you offer your hands to others when you greet them or help them – why would you offer them dirty or uncared for hands?  We can’t control all of the germs on our hands, but we can at least look like we care about how we literally and figuratively “touch” people.

I have a couple of things to say about hands:

  • Be sure your nails are neat – you don’t have to spend $20 or more a week getting a professional manicure.  Just keep your nails smooth (no sharp or jagged edges), and immediately remove any chipped nail polish.  Chipped nail polish is the worst especially if the polish is dark.  It just screams “I won’t give 2 minutes to myself to file my nails/remove the polish = LAZY”.  If you won’t give yourself 2 minutes – why should anyone else?
  • Keep your hands clean – unless your a mechanic or laborer – you should not have stained or dirty hands.  Actually I know a few mechanics who have the cleanest hands ever!  If they can keep their hands clean – so can you.  On another note, never leave the bathroom without washing your hands.  Trust me here, people tell people who doesn’t wash their hands in the bathroom – this information even gets back to the HR department.  Again, think about what you are offering to people when you extend your hands to them.  You wouldn’t want someone touching your new born baby with “bathroom hands” would you?  Remember, we are all still someone’s baby no matter how old we are.
  • Keep your hands smooth – a little hand cream goes a long way.  People don’t notice a great handshake when the hand they are touching is dry and scaly.  Great handshakes, clean hands and well-kept nails will all be overlooked if your hands are dry and scaly.

Good hands (clean, neat and smooth) = a perception that you are in “good hands”.

#7.  Clean your “eye boogies”.

Huh?  ”Eye boogies?  What the heck are eye boogies?”  You might be asking this question but that’s what I call that dreaded stuff you get in the corner of your eye.  I refer to it as “eye boogies” to my kids and they seemed to get it right away about what I was referring to.  So, what do you call it?

Anyway, I have a great story to share with you about how “eye boogie neglect” cost one candidate a job.

When I was working my first corporate HR job (way back – like when I was fetching applications from candidates for my boss who would actually conduct the interviews), I learned a lot about what universally matters about applicant appearance.

There was an attractive, well dressed woman who was interviewing for an administrative assistant job.  I greeted her, gave her the application to complete and directed her to the ladies room.  When her interview was finished, my boss asked me if she went to the ladies room before their meeting – I asked her why she wanted to know.  She told me that all she could notice when she was talking was her “eye boogies” and since she obviously fixed her hair and lipstick it was baffling to my boss that she wouldn’t get rid of her “eye boogies”.  I knew she was toast – why?  Because it implies that she does half the job.  Either she doesn’t notice the details (which matters for the role she was interviewing for), or because she doesn’t do a thorough job (which matters for any job).  The dreaded “eye boogie” was a silent deal breaker!

Friends don’t let friends go on without telling them that they have food on their face, lipstick on their teeth, toilet paper on their shoe, or “boogies” of any kind – including “eye boogies” - menacing their appearance.

Catch tip #5 & #6 next week – until then – keep you hands looking and feeling fine and your eyes free of “boogies”.

About Gina Calvano

Gina Calvano is a certified coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, with over 20 years of experience as a talent management professional in both the private and non-profit sectors. With a unique approach, she combines her strategic corporate expertise and accreditations with metaphysics and transformational thinking which has resulted in people all over the world feeling good about themselves and connected to a sense of purpose.

She created the Success Readiness Bootcamp™, a step by step process that enables people to easily discover their unique talents and abilities and match them to majors, jobs, industries and leisure pursuits. Gina is also the co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with NY Times Best Selling Authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood and Powerful Connections Made Easy™ with Aprille Trupiano, and is currently working on her next book — Caged in My Cube: The Turnaround Guide For Loving The Job You Hate.

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