If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a working (or almost working) professional. You’ve gotten some formal education, studied endlessly and worked HARD as hell to be where you are.

Below is a list of 5 common mistakes that can¬†unintentionally make you look unprofessional or unapproachable. Don’t do it!!

  1. The Selfie Headshot. Or cropped or app filtered or taken with a cellphone! You are a professional now- take professional photos! Don’t be that guy who begins a new job and scrolls through their phone picture reel to post on the company website. Believe me, hiring a professional photographer, to do a professional headshot, in a professional space is WELL WORTH IT!
  2. Non- Branded Email. Having a branded email address with your business domain is growing more common and expected in the business world. Many professionals, especially those just starting out, often have gmail, yahoo, outlook or some other similar email. However, according to nearly 70% of people, this is not professional and may unintentionally place you in a negative light for not having a branded email.
  3. Boasting about your Accolades. When someone is looking for help from a mental health professional, viewing various letters on the back of your name doesn’t help. While your colleagues can quickly applaud and understand the effort placed behind getting additional certifications and licenses to better help your clients, your future clients are not interested in the last time you took a TIC-CBT course. When writing your bio, refrain from mentioning how much knowledge you have and simply speak to your future client. Create a clear message to your future client that shows how you can help, shows that you’re a real person, and shows personhood.
  4. Using Images/Photos without permission. Did you know searched images cannot be used without permission? If you went on google and looked up “couple smiling” and use one of these images on your couples counseling page- you can get sued!! It’s something about copyrights and property. Don’t do it! Many people think that you can copy and paste or download nice looking images and put them on your website or business docs without a problem. This can put you in a position to get sued! Find a website that allows for free commercial and personal use so you don’t risk pissing off the person who has the rights.¬†
  5. Disorganization. People sometimes assess your level of ability and capability by your space, demeanor and process. While your personality will speak volumes, how you run day to day operations, how you dress, how quickly you respond, and your physical office space are also very important. You are likely best presented when you are organized.

In short, you have worked way too hard to lose notoriety over something that is so easily fixed. But if you’re guilty of any of the above, don’t judge yourself too harshly. Half of this list was compiled from my own experience. LOL Live and learn #realtalk.