First impressions may not always be an accurate representation, but since they often occur subconsciously, they can be difficult for people to shake – even if they rationally know they have other objective information to contradict it. When you’re job searching, the hiring managers’ impressions of you is as important as your qualifications themselves. A stellar resume may not be enough if their first impression makes them question you. Consider what image you are putting forward when meeting someone for the first time:
There are many seemingly small factors that play a part in how people view you as a professional. For instance, if you show up late to an important meeting, your lack of punctuality may make people view you as disrespectful of others’ time. Not being dressed appropriately and not being adequately prepared with materials or topics to discuss can also make people form a first impression of you as someone lacking professionalism. Take the time to cover all your bases before an interaction and show that you care about the professional image you’re putting forth.
How you talk, and not necessarily just what you say, can make people form snap judgments about you and what type of person you are. Your communication style includes how clearly you speak, as well as the speed and volume. Mumbling, fast talking, or using an upward inflection in which statements sound like questions, can all undermine your abilities in the minds of others. Practice role playing with a trusted friend or mentor to figure out any communication style issues that need addressed.
People are not as likely to trust the abilities of someone who comes across as lacking confidence in their own abilities – their snap judgment is likely making them ask themselves: if you don’t believe in yourself, why should they? Project self-confidence with open body language (no crossing of arms or legs), making clear eye contact, giving a firm handshake, and speaking directly when presenting ideas.
While being mindful of the image you’re presenting is important, it doesn’t mean that you have to not be yourself – you simply want to be the best version of yourself. Don’t go into interactions with the intention of hiding your true personality at all costs. In fact, your personality is often a crucial deciding factor in whether or not hiring managers could see you fitting in if you worked for them.
Find some new opportunities and chances to make a great first impression by turning to Spectrum Staffing Services. For over 25 years, we have provided staffing and recruitment services for employers nationwide. Take the first step to finding a job and search Spectrum’s current open positions.