April 26, 2011

How to Make a Good First Impression

Whether you’re heading to a job fair or preparing for an interview, making a first impression is important if you want to land a great job. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression! Here are my top tips for making sure that the impression you leave in a potential employer’s mind is a good one!

  • Dress the Part: You don’t necessarily have to wear a business suit, but you should dress appropriately for the job you want. That might mean jeans and a t-shirt, but make sure you wear clean, wrinkle-free clothing that fits you well and (if you are male) are clean-shaven. Check out our post on looking good at interviews for more tips.
  • Shake Hands Firmly: Having a weak or mild handshake doesn’t give employers the impression that you’re very confident. Instead, shake hands firmly, don’t pull away too quickly, and look the person in the eye as you say hello.
  • Don’t Smoke Beforehand: You might not realize it, but the smell of smoke lingers on your clothing and in your hair. It can even make your breath stink. That’s not the impression you want to give.
  • Smile: You might be nervous, but try to remember to smile, especially as you greet potential employers.
  • Speak Up: When asked questions, speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard. When people are nervous, they tend to speak more quickly, so make sure you are conscious about how quickly you’re speaking and slow down if necessary.

Make sure that first impression lasts by cleaning up your web presence when you get home. If an employer likes you, they might do some research on you when they get home, and if you’ve posted a bunch of bar pictures on your Facebook profile, you could do a lot of damage to the first impression you made in person! Check out these Facebook tips for job hunters to learn more.

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