First Impressions Count: 5 Tips for Success!

By Mia Casey

First impressions are vital when you’re meeting prospective employers for the first time. Studies have shown that people form their first impressions of a person within 7 to 17 seconds of meeting them – that means that how you present yourself matters! It can be difficult to know how you come across, so we’ve compiled a short list of tips to help YOU stand out from the crowd!

1. Be on time!

Making a good first impression actually starts before the interview or meeting! Being on time shows that you’re reliable, so make sure to plan how you’re going to get to there and try to be 10-15 minutes early. If you’re getting public transport be sure to check the relevant timetables and look online to see if there are any scheduled delays. If you can, try and leave a bit earlier than usual to allow for any unexpected delays. Being prompt and having good time management skills are abilities employers look for, so being on time can help reinforce that you possess these positive qualities!

2. Be aware of your body language

Before meeting someone new, focus on your posture – How are you standing? Are your arms crossed, or do you have open body language? Are your fidgeting? Your posture and how you hold yourself is a big part of making a good first impression. You want to come across as confident and engaging, not closed off and shy. If you haven’t checked it out already, have a look at the TED Talk in our ‘TED Talk’ [Change name] challenge [LINK], and learn how your posture can increase your confidence.

3. Do your research

Letting nerves get the better of you can be easy to do, especially when meeting people for the first time! If you’re going in for an interview, make sure you’ve done your research on the company and have a few examples of your own work experience in mind – being prepared can help you avoid mental blanks as it helps you to focus on what you need to say.

4. Attitude

Employers are looking for someone who will be a good cultural fit for their workplace, so try to be approachable and engaging – smile and show that you’re interested in what they have to say by displaying open body language. Being cocky or defensive, looking away when they talk, crossing your arms or mumbling can make you appear uninterested and unenthusiastic about the position you’re applying for. Remember, an interview is your opportunity to prove that you’re excited about the job and are a good fit for the company, so be friendly and enthusiastic!

5. Dress appropriately

Knowing what to wear when meeting a potential employer can be stressful! If you can’t decide on what to wear, remember it’s always better to be overdressed than under-dressed. Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and tidy, avoid strong smelling perfumes and keep jewellery to a minimum. You want to come across as professional and be remembered for your talents and personality – not your outfit!

If the term ‘smart-casual’ sends you into a spiral of confusion or you simply want to learn how to dress to stand out from the crowd, UTS:Careers offers a great Back to Basics workshop called Dress for Success. Learn the do’s and do not’s of dressing for an interview, new job, or any work setting, while increasing your confidence!

Register through the Events section on CareerHub today!

Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Author: Mia Casey

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