Professional Image

Be presentHow do you want others in the professional world to view you? This is an important question to consider, especially when you're job searching. Being seen as a professional, responsible person can open up opportunities and improve your chances of getting hired.

First impressions

Introductions: Always explain who people are and use their full names.

Handshakes: Make a "V" with your thumb and forefinger. Then extend your right arm across your body and pump about 2 times. Make sure your grip isn't too hard or too weak.

hands shakingName tags: Wear your name tag on the right side of your front shoulder area. If your name tag is on a chord, make sure it's in the middle of your chest. It should be easy for people to see your name.

Quick tip

Did you know current students can order business cards featuring the University of Kansas or Jayhawk logos through the University Career Center? These can be helpful to hand out in networking and other professional events, especially when you're job and internship searching.


Professional communication

Socializing vs. gossiping: Be friendly and polite to everyone, and volunteer to help out when you can. It's okay to have appropriate fun, but don't forget to communicate regularly and effectively. Stay away from cliques.

Phone communication: Take notes during phone conversations to help you remember key points. Avoid talking on your cell phone in public. You should return messages within 24 hours when possible, and be aware of the rules about personal calls at your organization.

Email communication: Know your work's policy regarding personal emails. When writing professional emails, double-check your grammar and punctuation. Remember: tone is difficult to understand in emails, so be thoughtful about your word choices.

Professional Attire

Business professional tips:

  • Wear a dark-colored conservative suit, generally in black, brown, navy, or gray.
  • Solid colors or subtle patterns (e.g. pinstripes) look best.
  • Pair your suit with a complementary conservative, long-sleeved collared shirt or blouse, belt, and shoes.
  • Make sure your socks, shoes, and belt match your suit.
  • Avoid jewelry except for possibly a watch and a wedding or fraternity ring.
  • Make sure your hair and face are clean cut and any makeup is minimal.

Quick tip


Need business professional attire for an upcoming interview or event? Visit the P.H.O.G. Clothing Closet for free items of clothing. Choose from a variety of styles and sizes of suits, separates, shirts, accessories, and more to make a positive first impression.

Business casual tips:

  • Stay away from anything low-cut, tight, or revealing.
  • Avoid jeans, t-shirts, and sweats, and use an iron when needed.
  • Find out the dress code of the organization, and think conservative; however, you can usually be more trendy than you can with business professional attire.

Featured Resources
The P.H.O.G.

Visit Summerfield 206, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, to browse the inventory!

the PHOG - Professional House of Garments

University Career Center
Over 10,000 jobs and internships are posted on annually.
Over 1,800 employers post jobs and internships on each year.
Have you found your community? Over 4,200 students are exploring career pathways through KU career communities.
The P.H.O.G. offers free professional clothing for any KU student preparing for a career event, interview, or workplace.
More than 600 employers visit campus each year to recruit Jayhawks.
More than 1,000 students enroll in career classes annually.
HawkQuest was a runner-up for NACE’s Technology Award in 2018.
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.