Introduction: What is Professionalism?

Module 1: What is Professionalism is a short introductory module that provides an overview of the course, offers some definitions of professionalism, and promotes personal reflection concerning the benefits of professional development.

Learning Objectives for Module 1

 At the end of this module, learners will:

Attributes of Professionalism

Topics Covered in this Module

CS Dress Code

What to wear, what NOT to wear, and how Creative Solutions embraces individuality in the workplace.

Professional Presence

Sometimes called "professional bearing", your professional presence is how your attitude and behavior are perceived in the workplace. 

What distinguishes you as a professional?


Our ideas of what a professional looks like can vary, but first impressions are usually formed with that first face-to-face encounter. Like it or not, people judge you by your clothing and personal grooming. 


Customers might forgive a rumpled or casual appearance when they are assisted in a friendly and knowledgeable manner. Likewise, even the sharpest suit cannot excuse a dismissive or uncooperative attitude. 


A client who interacts with mature, knowledgeable, and attentive staff feels more confident that his or her needs and expectations will be met. 

What attributes do others notice when gauging your level of professionalism?

  • Appearance
  • Attitude
  • Behavior
  • All of these

Creative Solutions Dress Code

Dress and Appearance

Creative Solutions Dress Code Primer

Please watch the video presentation and read the content provided to learn about our company's dress code. 

Appearance: Grooming

Whether your workplace dress code calls for "business casual" or more formal dress, a clean, well-groomed appearance is always preferable. You can never go wrong with clean, pressed, work appropriate clothing  and attention to personal hygiene. 

Business Casual

Employees are encouraged to wear business casual attire most days at Creative Solutions. Fridays are more relaxed, so the guidelines are "keep it clean", "no holes or tears", and "Rule 3" , which will be explained shortly.

"Rule 3"

If you would wear it to the club, a tailgate party, or a cookout, do not wear it to work. 

In other words, avoid wearing items that:

  • Expose the torso, armpits, shoulders, or all of your toes ("peep" toe pumps are fine, flip-flops are not)
  • Display offensive or explicit textual or graphic statements 
  • Are overly sheer or fitted
  • Can be mistaken for undergarments or sleepwear

Business Casual for women

  • Shirt or blouse with long or short sleeves, modest neckline
  • Slacks (not jeans- see additional points)
  •  Skirts (just above the knee or lower)
  • Dresses- use guidelines above for skirt length and neckline

Business Casual for Men

  • Long or short sleeved shirt (preferably with collar)
  • Slacks (not jeans- see additional points)
  • Optional tie

Additional Points (Men and Women)

  • Jeans without rips or holes are fine on "Casual Friday" or for special casual events
  • Shoes should be clean, cover most of the foot, and free of safety hazards
  • Accessories should not interfere with work or become a safety concern
  • We embrace creativity in personal style as long as your overall appearance is clean , neat and personable

Personal Style Choices

Our Policy on Piercings and Tattoos

They are fine as long as you adhere to health and safety policies.


  • Tattoos with questionable imagery or messages should be covered.
    •  Jewelry for piercings should not interfere with duties or pose a safety hazard (i.e. catch on machinery)

Which statement about the Creative Solutions Dress Policy is Correct?

  • Creative Solutions employees are encouraged to wear "business casual" attire, and most piercings and tattoos are allowed.
  • Creative Solutions enforces a strict conservative dress code barring visible body modifications.

According to "Rule 3", what types of clothing items are inappropriate for any work day at Creative Solutions?

  • Casual clothing of any kind
  • "peep toe" or other shoes that show any portion of the foot
  • Clothing that features offensive text or graphics
  • Pants

What clothing and accessory attributes are discouraged in the CS Dress Code? (Choose all that apply)

  • Casual
  • Safety hazard
  • Offensive
  • Well-groomed

Attitude and Behavior

Universally Positive Professional Attributes

Courtesy To Coworkers

  • Be on time
  • Be reliable (keep promises)
  • Meet your deadlines
  • Give or accept help when needed

Customer Focus

  • Communicate clearly
  • Answer inquiries promptly
  • Be aware of nonverbal messages
  • Show understanding and empathy

Build Your Personal Brand

  • Update your Portfolio often
  • Learn new skills/technology
  • Keep up with continuing education 
  • Be proactive, not reactive

What you may want to work on

Non-Verbal Communication

  • Eye contact- too much or too little eye contact can build communication barriers. 
  • Do you have a habit of shrugging or rolling your eyes? Some facial expressions and gestures can undermine your message and professional bearing. 

Are you a "self-starter"?

  • Know your job description and duties
  • Know your performance expectations
  • Never be afraid to ask for clarification
  • Request feedback when you need it

Which of these attributes are universally associated with professionalism?

  • Attractiveness
  • Reliability
  • Strength
  • Humor

True or False: Professional Behaviors

  • It is considered unprofessional to ask for feedback.
  • Keeping your portfolio and continuing education credits current are hallmarks of a professional.
  • You should always be aware of the nonverbal cues you give through facial expressions and gestures.
  • You can never use too much eye contact!


Summary of Module 1

In this module you have learned:

  • About the Creative Solutions dress code
  • Some attributes that are universally consistent with professionalism
  • What behaviors you should develop and which habits you should curtail to improve your professional image. 


All photos in this course are stock images provided by under the CC0 License.

Music for the video was created by Elvis Herod, provided by, available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license