The quote “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” is a metaphor that is an unspoken factor in personal and professional environments when one is being considered to be promoted to a new role, collaborate with others in cultivating business relationships and establishing or expanding brands. How you choose to carry yourself, converse, and interact with others are also image factors for career seekers, entrepreneurs, and career changers to be mindful of.

During my tenure of preparing candidates to interview for their next level career opportunity. It would have been a disservice to only focus on how they answered the mock interview questions and not remind them of the importance of image. It is true that you should dress how you want to be addressed personally and professionally. The professional image that you portray displays that you have an understanding of how to demonstrate that you belong in the desired position. I also liked to remind candidates that their grooming habits is a part of their image as well. Personal grooming details has equal merit as the statement of their professional attire. For some, I recognize that you may not view yourself as the professional dress type but desire a professional position that requires professional attire. It is important to mediate on this image truth and “Act as if.” moving forward.  Take the time to invest in a quality professional wardrobe that will reflect a positive nod that you’re advancing in your chosen career path. I reached out to Mark Hillery, an in demand men’s image concierge to share his fashion and grooming insider tips for men to consider while establishing and pursing their career legacy.

Mark Hillery is the CEO of Style and Travel Daily and Mark’s Resume Rewrite. He’s an Image Consultant/Personal Stylist/Professional Writer/ Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger.  Mark created his image concierge firm as an opportunity to help others realize their dreams through the creation of an excellent image. First impressions are lasting, and Style & Travel Daily teaches their clients how every interaction counts. Mark is a Contributor to the Details Bloggers Network and also serves as a consumer advisor to Saks Fifth Avenue.

Career Tipper: What lead you to become and image concierge for professional men?

Hillery: I initially began my concierge services as a lead instructor for a very popular and established Image Course created by fashionista/blogger/business guru, Dr. Stacia Pierce. My favorite time during the course was the annual shopping trip with the gentlemen to help them put all of the classroom learning to practice. I’d help them create their looks for a special event, work to schedule on-site seminars and image Q & A with men’s departments at stores such as Nordstrom’s and critiqued on what looked best on them. One of the things I realized as a result of the trips was that the gentlemen enjoyed looking their best, but they just didn’t have the time it took to adequately shop for the ideal pieces; so that problem gave me an opportunity to help them look their best by doing the shopping for them.

Career Tipper: What is your suggested strategy on how men can up-level their career wardrobe?

Hillery: I’m a firm believer that a quality wardrobe is created over time by purchasing one quality piece of clothing at a time. Trends are great, but never sacrifice quality for quantity! Men should always purchase the “professional” essentials in order to create, maintain and enhance their career wardrobe.

Career Tipper: How important is grooming for career focused men? What are a few products that you recommend?

Hillery: Grooming separates the men from the boys! A man who takes his grooming seriously is taken seriously. Image is crucial and decisions of whether to buy your product, take your advice and/or follow your leadership hinges on the amount of pride you take in preparing yourself for that chance meeting. Men should get their hair cut and trimmed by a professional barber/stylist on a regular basis. A well-groomed man has the proper tools to maintain their facial hair and appearance in between their visits to the barber. Skin types vary, so purchase the razor that works for you. When in doubt, visit places such a The Art of Shaving for equipment advice. The companion to the ideal razor is a skin care system. I use Kiehl’s products, but there are other great products on the market.

Career Tipper: What are five wardrobe must-haves for professional men?

Hillery: All professional men need to own a dark-colored (navy blue or black) dress suit; a blue or white dress shirt; brown or black dress shoes, silver or gold-toned accessories such as cufflinks, tie bars; and lastly, a briefcase or document holder in brown leather preferably.

Career Tipper: What is the best wardrobe styling advice you have received?

Hillery: Know your body type and wardrobe personality. Once you know those two factors, buy the best materials you can afford in order to look your best.

Career Tipper: What is the best character trait a man should develop to compliment his professional wardrobe?

Hillery: Integrity is a must have. People can forgive and understand mistakes. They want to know that they can trust you.

Visit Style and Travel Daily for more career image advice and to learn more about Mark Hillery’s personal image concierge services.