While I am only 20 years old, I have had the privilege of traveling around the country and around the globe, allowing me the opportunity to meet people from diverse groups, cultures, and backgrounds. Because of these encounters, I discovered the importance of first impressions no matter the situation. Obviously, the ways in which we greet someone must be adjusted according to the context. However, for those in college, the biggest concern is winning over a potential future employer of the dream job. The following statistics may inspire you to mind your manners with a little more importance. Next, are tips I have learned from personal experience, professionals, and feedback from adults to execute the perfect impression in the business world!
- It takes 7 seconds to make a first impression
- On average, it takes meeting the same person 7 more times to change the first impression you made
- 38% of what makes up a first impression is how you sound
- 7% of a first impression are the words you say
- 55% of a first impression is visual
1.Don’t’ Play Hard to Get
When speaking with a potential employer, act engaged (even if what they’re saying is boring you to tears). Showing another individual interest in what they have to say makes them feel important and relevant. Above all, it’s simply respectful.
2. No Mumble Jumble
Think about what you say before you say it. Words like “like” and “um” can make you sound unintelligent and unknowledgeable. It’s better to take a few seconds and gather your thoughts to create an intellectual statement, rather than spitting up word vomit.
3. Change Your Clothes
The majority of a first impression is based on how you look! Not owning business professional clothes is not a reason to look like a mess. Ask a friend to borrow an outfit for an interview. Don’t forget to shower and brush your teeth – please, that’s just gross.
3. Love at First Sight
You don’t want an employer to fall in love you, but it might not hurt if they like you so much they offer you job! Regardless of how uncomfortable it may feel to make direct eye contact – do it. There’s nothing worse than trying to have a conversation with someone who stares in the corner of the room the entire time
4. Shake What Your Mama Gave You
Except in this case, you’ll be shaking hands. This one may seem insignificant or irrelevant for the millennial generation, but chances are, your future employer values firm handshakes with utmost importance. While a firm handshake invokes confidence, professionalism, and responsibility, a limp one suggests awkwardness and nervousness. Even though you may be nervous, having a strong handshake will help disguise such anxiety.
5. Thanks Bro
Please don’t ever say “bro” to someone the first time you meet them (or ever actually). While a handwritten letter is not necessarily relevant to all first impressions, they will undoubtedly help your reputation in the long run. Baby Boomers and Generation X value handwritten letters much more than millennials or Generation Z. Consequently, one must recognize its significance to their elders. In a job searching context, the employer will likely already have made the decision to hire you or not before a snail mail thank you letter arrives. In such case, an email is best. Regardless, if there is appropriate opportunity to write a thank you note – DO IT.