First Impression could be the last chance. We all want to make a good first impression and there are so many places and ways for the impression to either help or hurt us. When you meet someone for the first time how do you know you connect with them. Businesses drive on first impressions. When you walk in the door they want the environment to be inviting, open and seem like a place individuals can connect. There is a coffee house I remember that from the entrance provided a warm and inviting atmosphere. There is a fireplace in the center of the room, tables set around it, the merchandise displays are there but not gaudy. This has lasted in my memory for many years now. In employment the first impression begins the moment you walk in the door either to ask for the application through the job offer.
- Application anxiety holds many people back. Many have this fear of rejection just asking for a simple application. Confidence and politeness can overcome this feeling and leave a professional taste in the hiring manager’s mouth. If you walk in a place wearing jeans, shorts and t-shirts the first impression will be you are not serious and they would not even consider you for a position. If you are wearing today’s fashion mishap being pants that you and 3 friends can all wear at the same time, hanging down below your rear-end, you will not be given a second glance. If you walk in dressed and acting like a professional you will get a warm welcome.
- Online impressions are becoming more and more evident, but how do you leave a good first impression while applying for jobs online? The Answer is easy. A cover letter and resume that bellows from the roof tops about how much personality and professionalism you have. The punctuation is all correct, the use of positive, eye grabbing words and the overall tone can set you apart and maybe make the hiring manager want to reach out to you just to meet you. Be cautious of what online persona you have. Facebook and Twitter can take the professional presence you have tried to establish on LinkedIn and other professional networking sites and make it where you will not be hired.
- The day of the interview either on the phone or in person. For a phone you still have the opportunity and dire need to make a great first impression. Make sure you are dressed professionally and have no distractions. Turn the TV off and have that professional smile plastered on your face while you are speaking on the phone. For the face to face interview you have to start with the confident handshake, lots of eye contact, head nodding and let that personality shine while detailing all the skills you want this employer to benefit from.
- The walk out pitch is extremely important that is the last line of offense when you are interviewing. Make sure that if the interviewer is the one walking out or if it is someone else, you have to remember that the interview does not stop until you drive away. Remember that on the day of the interview, all eyes know you are there to interview so make sure you are professional to the receptionist, the guy walking through with his coffee who smiles and nods, or the other individuals on the elevator with you.
- The last part of the first impression is when you get home. The first thing to do is go get a blank thank you card and send one to everyone who either interviewed you or that you had a lasting connection with. If the receptionist helped you out, helped you feel more comfortable or was just a great conversationalist, send them one also. This is the last potential attempt to shine with that first impression.
I encourage people to give some deep thought into what impresses you about others, or what you find irritating or uncomfortable. Once you learn to listen to your gut, you will be better at tuning in to other peoples reactions. Always remember a lasting first impression happens within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, for some it happens much faster. Strive to make the greatest first impression possible within the first 10 seconds, while maintaining your professionalism.