“Age is a primary social dimension. We behave differently toward people as a function of how old we perceive them to be. Age perception relies on cues that are correlated with age, such as wrinkles. Here we report that aspects of facial contrast–the contrast between facial features and the surrounding skin–decreased with age in a large sample of adult Caucasian females. These same aspects of facial contrast were also significantly correlated with the perceived age of the faces. Individual faces were perceived as younger when these aspects of facial contrast were artificially increased, but older when these aspects of facial contrast were artificially decreased. These findings show that facial contrast plays a role in age perception, and that faces with greater facial contrast look younger. Because facial contrast is increased by typical cosmetics use, we infer that cosmetics function in part by making the face appear younger.”
This is the abstract of a research article titled “Aspects of Facial Contrast Decrease with Age and Are Cues for Age Perception,” and it should give a professional woman some good reasons to seriously consider wearing makeup at work and in profile pics. The way the study was conducted, people from the community sat before a computer and saw repeated photos duplicated side by side. The viewer chose the healthiest photo, or the most attractive, or the youngest, etc. But the only difference in photos was some slight changes in one.
Those changes were very subtle so the viewer was not necessarily aware of why one looked healthier, for instance. But the subtle changes did change perception.
Professional Image is All About Perception
Like it or not, people judge us by what we look like. Then they’ll judge us by how we act and sound. They have to make that judgement call because all they can see is the way we look and act and sound. So it makes sense that your professional image is based on outward appearances. OK, so I may be biased because I admit, I’m a makeup hound. I love all things hair, makeup, and accessories. I was loving life in the 80’s with the big hair, bright makeup, bracelets, and bows (even though I do look back at pictures and cringe sometimes). However, not all women want to fuss with makeup in the morning– and I get that.
Women working in the corporate world have many more options on dress and appearance than men do. You’d think that makes it easier, but it actually is more challenging because it’s so easy to choose the wrong option. It’s a good idea to study the workplace you are operating in carefully, dress for the position you hope to be promoted to, and look healthy & reasonably attractive in both real life and profile pics. Sad, but true. How you look professionally counts.
This study shows that you can increase a positive perception of your image with a little bit of makeup, so there’s proof that makeup is a good success strategy for professional women. And I’m not just saying that because I still have my Color Me Beautiful palette from 1985. Ahem.
Beat The Competition With The Job Search Success System
Competition is unfortunately part of the picture in searching for a job. It’s also part of the picture in keeping your job and being promoted.The Job Search Success System has more to offer than getting your foot in the door; the skills you learn will help you be successful throughout your career as you struggle to keep up with the market.
In addition to finding that job, there is coaching on:
how to figure out what you really want out of your career
how to become the acknowledged expert in your field, boosting your income and potential
how to negotiate for salary increases of 10% and more — up to 50%
project work, consultation work, and adding income streams
The more skills you have, the more options you have. When you are actively seeking to improve your skills, it benefits you now and in the future. It also benefits those around you because you are setting a standard of professionalism that will enhance your workplace. Even if you would decide that you are not ready to invest in a tool like The Job Search Success System, pay attention to the things offered in the package. Those are skills you need to develop somehow in order to keep up in the marathon that is a career.
I did say “marathon” instead of “race”. That is because the goal isn’t really to be the first one past the finish line: the goal is to get across that line, getting and keeping a job until promotion to a better job. You might not be as fast as some of the other runners, but if you keep at it, you will get there!
With the advent of online employment services such as monster.com, careerbuilder.com and job-hunt.com, more people than ever can be applying for fewer and fewer jobs. How can you create a resume that will stand out in this sea of hopefuls? Follow this list of “musts” to ensure your resume stands out. Summarize your career achievements and experiences at the top of the resume. Human resource people receive sometimes hundreds of resumes to fill one position. Don’t make them hunt for the meat of your work. Create a snappy, one paragraph summary that captures the essence of your strengths and experience to be the first thing that is read. Make it creative and enticing, luring them to want to know more about you. Follow it up with a keyword, bulleted list. This will catch the employer’s eye, as well as, a keyword scanning machine. Be timely. In this very competitive job market, potential employers want to know your latest and greatest experiences and strengths. While they will be looking at our college degrees and educational experiences, they will want to know what was your last greatest achievement, and how it relates to what they are looking for. Keeping everything fresh and timely will catch their eyes far more than listing all the things you did ten years ago that helped get you to where you are today. Include all your experiences,even if they weren’t job related. Sometimes employers look for a well-rounded prospect, someone who has taken time to volunteer with a local nonprofit, or community organizing for your neighborhood. All relevant experience will show them your potentials for doing great work for them. This works especially well for entry-level jobs!
Put the most important information that is most relevant to the work first.Don’t make them hunt for what they are looking for. Human resource people don’t have time to read through every resume they get. Help them by showing them first and foremost what you have that they want. Even if it was done a while ago, you can create a “highlights” box on the front page and add your accomplishment there. Be positive in your language. You don’t want to overdo, but you can certainly put a much more positive spin areas where you lack certain skills or have not completed your education. Instead of, “no experience” say “willing to learn anything needed to get the job done.” Or, focus on what your expertise is in. Personalize every cover letter.There is nothing colder or less attractive to an HR director than getting a stale, canned letter. Don’t be afraid to personalize it with your own character. Instead of, “I would be willing to work extra hours,” say, “I have never been able to change the earth’s orbit, but I would try for you.” Have fun, be personable and research the company’s mission statement to align your letter with it. Edit, edit, edit. There is nothing worse than sending out a resume or cover letter with typos or grammatical errors. When in doubt, ask a second set of eyes to look it over and comment.
The Magic Formula to Better Results: It's Your Response that Counts
Editors Note: Here is another fantastic article from Jack Canfield, author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, and America’s leading Success Coach.
I love this article. It aligns with my own personal belief that we CHOOSE our lives. We CHOOSE our responses to things. We CHOOSE the outcome. Sort of like ‘is the glass half full or half empty?’. It’s a matter of choice. Mine is half full. We can choose to change our thoughts and that will change the outcome of any situation. Don’t sit idly by and say, ‘my life takes control of me, I have no choice’.. no, YOU get to choose to take control of your life or any situation. Make YOURSELF happy. Align your thoughts with how you want the situation to turn out. Watch your life go smoothly and exactly how you want it to. It’s not rocket science. It’s just a matter of choice. by Jack Canfield
In today’s economic times, when everywhere you look there’s a rumbling of great uncertainty, I think we should all take a pause (and a deep breath) to think about our lives.
Are we moving in the direction we want to be? When things happen in the world that seem so far beyond our individual control, it can feel unsettling. And even though we think we are the masters of our own success, watching the news these days can chip away at our beliefs. Even in tough economic times, you get to decide how to respond to certain conditions, opportunities, and outcomes—both good and bad.
While I don’t claim to be an economist, I do know one important fact. The economy is the same for everyone, it’s how you respond to it that determines how you feel about it.
It’s yet another example of what I’ve been teaching for years. . .
E + R = O (Events + Responses = Outcome)
The basic idea is that every outcome you experience in life (whether it’s success or failure, wealth or poverty, wellness or illness, intimacy or estrangement, joy or frustration) is the result of how you have responded to an earlier event (or events) in your life. If you don’t like the outcomes you are currently experiencing, there are two basic choices you can make: Choice #1: You can blame the event(E) for your lack of results (O).
In other words, you can blame the economy, the weather, the lack of money, lack of education, racism, gender bias, the current administration in Washington, your wife or husband, your boss’s attitude, the lack of support, and so on.
No doubt all these factors exist, but if they were the deciding factor, nobody would ever succeed. For every reason it’s not possible, there are hundreds of people who have faced the same circumstances and have succeeded.
It’s not the external conditions and circumstances that stop us — it’s us!
We think limiting thoughts and engage in self-defeating behaviors. We defend our self-destructive habits (such as drinking and smoking) with indefensible logic.
We ignore useful feedback, fail to continuously educate ourselves and learn new skills, waste time on the trivial aspects of our lives, engage in idle gossip, eat unhealthy food, fail to exercise, spend more than we make, fail to tell the truth, don’t ask for what we want, and then wonder why our lives aren’t working. Choice #2: You can instead simply change your responses (R) to the events (E) until you get the outcomes (O) you want.
You can change your thinking, change your communication, change the pictures you hold in your head (your images of the world) and you can change your behavior (the things you do.) That’s all you really have any control over anyway. Unfortunately, most of us are so engrained in our habits that we never change our behavior.
We get stuck in our conditioned responses-to our spouses and children, to our colleagues at work, to our customers and our clients, to our students, and to the world at large.
You have to gain control of your thoughts, your images, your dreams and daydreams, and your behavior.
Everything you think, say, and do needs to become intentional and aligned with your purpose, your values, and your goals. If you don’t like your outcomes, change your responses! Here’s an example of how this works…
Do you remember the Northridge earthquake in 1994? I do! I lived through it in Los Angeles.
Two days later I watched as CNN interviewed people commuting to work. The earthquake had damaged one of the main freeways leading into the city. Traffic was at a standstill, and what was normally a 1-hour drive had become a 2-3 hour drive.
The CNN reporter knocked on the window of one of the cars stuck in traffic and asked the driver how he was doing.
He responded, angrily, “I hate California. First there were fires, then floods, and now an earthquake! No matter what time I leave in the morning, I’m late for work. I can’t believe it!”
Then the Reporter knocked on the window of the car behind him and asked the driver the same question. This driver was all smiles.
He replied “It’s no problem. I left my house at five am. I don’t think under the circumstances my boss can ask for more than that. I have lots of music and Spanish-language tapes with me. I’ve got my cell phone. Coffee in a thermos, my lunch-I even have a book to read. I’m fine.”
Now, if the earthquake or the traffic were really the deciding variables, then everyone should have been angry. But everyone wasn’t.
It was their individual response to the traffic that gave them their particular outcome. It was thinking negative thoughts or positive thoughts, leaving the house prepared or leaving the house unprepared that made the difference. It was all a matter of attitude and behavior that created their completely different experiences. If we all experience the same EVENT, the OUTCOME you get will be totally dependent upon your RESPONSE to the situation.
If you want to take control of how you respond to life, you’ll start noticing that your outcomes will be more along the lines of what you have always hoped. Remember, you control your destiny so make it a fantastic one!