First impressions are important when it comes to how you will be perceived and remembered. When first meeting someone, there are lots of factors that can contribute to how positively you will be perceived. Everything from body language, overall appearance, and how you communicate verbally all contribute to the impression you leave on someone. To find out what really goes into making a good first impression, you can read our tips below.
When meeting someone for the first time, it is important to remember how your body language and facial expressions can come across. It only takes 3-5 seconds for someone to form an opinion of you, so the immediate impression you make is very important. Slouching over with your arms crossed in front of you can come off as guarded and uninterested. Try standing tall, smiling and making eye contact with the person. If you smile and look friendly, then people tend to smile back and be friendly in return. Keep in mind that other cultures have their own customs when meeting someone, and they may be different than what is generally accepted in the United States. The location and setting of a meeting can be an important consideration in how you greet someone.
Whether you are going into a job interview or meeting a new client, a bad first impression can be hard to change in the future. Creating an elevator pitch can help you communicate your business’s value, experience, or expertise. Remember that what you say can be an important factor when meeting someone. Make sure you start off on the right foot by speaking in a way that projects approachability and that conveys trustworthiness. Plan ahead by preparing talking points, which can be very helpful, especially in an interview.
The way you dress and your overall image can impact the impression you make. The business card you hand the person can even be a reflection of yourself. You want a business card with a design that doesn’t look outdated and is easily readable. The clothing you wear is also important, and you want to dress appropriately for the setting. Your clothing should always be clean, wrinkle-free, and something you feel comfortable and confident in. Wear something that fits your style, or shows off your personality. Making an appropriate statement with your style can make you memorable. What you wear is just one important element of many that we have discussed in making a good first impression.
We hope these tips have helped you feel ready to make a good first impression at your next meeting or job interview. Remember, making a good impression is all about the details, from clean clothes to the kind of paper you use. Whether it’s paper for a proposal or a presentation, make sure your paper is also making the right impression.
”There is NO ONE harder to negotiate for than me, even for something like buying a home or car, so negotiating over the value of my own work is daunting. So much so, prospects and clients can feel it. For the services I offer to provide there are fees; however, for the quality of and the commitment to that which I provide there are no monetary equivalents. As a marketer and provider of products and/or services it is my goal to instill within my prospects and clients a confidence that the integrity, dedication, and commitment I bring is an ethic that also spills over into my personal life. It is who I am; and to that end, there are no exceptions.”
As for my employer – it can expect the same. Peers, superiors, and subordinates will also get nothing less and to this end as well, there are no exceptions.
Are you the above? And if so, are you getting this across to your prospects and clients? Those who live in the top 20% of the Paretto Principle (Also known as the 80/20 rule) do this naturally. Is it possible those who live in the bottom 80% of the Paretto Principle are there because they do not take the time to make known their own core values? I will bet my last million I am correct!
Ask yourself these questions as though you are the prospect or customer…
- Have you ever brought home a new car or house and told everyone you were “sold” the car or house?
- How often have you bought from a salesperson you did not like or trust?
- How often after making large purchases, did buyer’s remorse’ set-in?
- Have there been times when you have decided to return something and felt bad for the salesperson that helped you make the purchase?
- How often have you recommended a salesperson for excellent service?
- How many times have you complained to a manager for the poor service of another?
- Have you ever felt so good about someone who assisted you in a purchase that you believed this person could be your friend?
- Has a salesperson ever caused you to feel like you wanted to give them first crack the next time you need their products or services?
- Have you ever had to request another salesperson because you felt you are being treated poorly?
- Have you ever taken note of those businesses to which you feel loyal and, conversely of those you have mentally black-listed?
I could add more questions to this list; however, I think you get the point.
Rather than suggest people buy from people they trust and like, it is better illustrated to say that people generally won’t buy from people they distrust and dislike. Most times, when good service is rendered it goes un-commended because good service is as it should be. Unless service is “exceptional,” it is generally performed and accepted routinely without applause or special notice. However, poor service is generally reported not only to management, but to the next 15 people or so with whom unhappy customers/clients come in contact.
If it is desired to be a successful salesperson then the message is clear; you must “warm-up” your prospects and clients. I can’t remember the last time a salesperson attempted a warm-up. It seems to have become a forgotten art!
Warm-ups can take a few minutes or a few seconds; whatever the case, the warm-up is the only opportunity salespeople have to build trust and confidence and breakdown consumer defenses. Once you’ve lost your customer’s trust it is be best to turn them over to another. There are no second chances.
I’ve had people tell me they are good salespeople. When I ask them why, they fall short of convincing me. If they cannot convince me in an informal setting, then how do they convince prospects and customers? Most cannot define “good salesperson.” That of itself tells a great deal!
Some, even though they have been told over and over again of the importance of warm-ups, still refuse to warm-up their prospects and clients before presenting their products or services. And they wonder why their numbers are poor as they bounce from one job to another. When making a pie, omitting just one ingredient changes the best of the finished product, its taste. I’ve never heard a single successful salesperson say anything other than how important is the function of warming-up.
Now, let’s apply another bend to this writing; the job interview. Is it very different from selling products and services? After all, isn’t the purpose of an interview to identify and acquire the services of an individual? When companies post a job vacancy it is because they want to hire someone who can fill certain needs. Therefore, if you are sitting before an interviewer, is it not your job to sell you? Is there the slightest chance interviewers hire people they don’t trust or like? So then, how can we earn that trust and respect before actually presenting our wares? You can do as stage performers do; have another warm-up the audience? Certainly, you are not able nor is it practical to have a “Dr. Phil” warm-up your interviewer. My word, I guess you’ll have to do it yourself!
You can make it happen by first, controlling the interview. Perhaps, you may begin like this; “Ms. Interviewer, before we get started, I’d like to take a few minutes for us to get to know each other.” That’s right; the warm-up is a mutual exchange. Its purpose is to open-up about you and to encourage the same of the interviewer.
The purpose is two-fold: First: Allow the interviewer inside to discover things about you not revealed in your cover letter and resume; sincerity, integrity, ethics, outside interests, family, and your demonstrated ability to communicate, etc. Second: Asking interviewers a few questions about the same topics offers them opportunities to relax. Like most, they too feel good when talking about themselves. Opening-up, however brief, reduces tension and introduces the sincerity and trust that gives you an edge. It is entirely possible that of the others they interview some may also engage in warm-ups. That being the case, imagine how not doing so may weaken your chances of an offer of employment.
The ultimate joy of exhilaration
In the past I’ve written of passion, motivation, and inspiration and I’ve spun them in so many different ways attempting to encourage everyone to follow their dreams. I believe, wholeheartedly, those who follow their dreams (the biggest of) achieve greatness; personal, professional, and financial. And, for those who pursue dreams, happiness is more intense and inspiring; and so it is to all whom cross dream-achiever paths. Perhaps had I followed mine then as I am doing now the view from which I write would be so much more panoramic.
Have you ever experienced the tingle of goose bumps? A chill of sorts, they are generally caused by something uniquely stimulating; witnessing expressions of love and adoration; the thrill of immense challenge; the feeling of free falling with a bungee around one’s being or the air that distorts one’s face during the weightless free fall of a sky dive. Would these cause your skin to goose-up? Most assuredly they would mine! However, goose bumps are people specific; different cause for different applause. A bit of a stretch, but how great would it feel to get goose bumps with every passing workday? To wake each day anxious to face and conquer the day’s challenges; ergo, to experience the elation that accompanies achievement at all levels. Is it not true that this remarkable sensation comes from the roughest to the gentlest of truth?
“Apprehension of that which lies ahead produces anxiety and ultimate defeat, whereas passion is the
catharsis that empowers limitless expectations and achievement.” Arnie Sherr
When giving into dreams, whatever devils we gave home to are to be discarded; however, the appearance of devils advocate will be as if a magician’s magic brought them from out of the “woodwork.” Not surprising, these self-appointed devils advocates are wives and husbands, mothers and dads, friends, relatives and peers whose own fears predict failure for you. Do you succumb or do you push forward further inspired to prove them wrong? I would hope the latter! Where would Donald Trump be today if he believed for one minute he could succeed his father? “Success is limited only from limits that emanate from within.” Would you jump off the proverbial bridge? If you would, I suggest you stay away from evil doers and tactfully discard the alerts of devils advocates. Moreover, their intentions being well meant are fueled by inaccurate perception. Whatever happened to “you go girl/guy?”
These are disastrous economic times and for those who are out-of-work, out-of-dough, and out-of-hope, I implore you to dig deep; reach all the way back to the dreams you discarded early-on as impractical, undoable, impossible, or otherwise and give rebirth to the faith owned by all; to believe. How many times have you heard others who seem to have earned success say, “If I can do it, anyone can do it?” The only thing separating the fearful from doers is perception. There is no middle ground and the best incentive for doing anything is embracing the passion held for the dream. True, many times we must do things that fall short of desirable because…
“The road to the top if worth its reward shall be littered with potholes, detours, and obstacles making the prize when won sweeter to be sure” Arnie Sherr
Would a confident parachutist discard the parachute’s ripcord believing him or herself to be invincible; to that I say, “When on the trek to the top of the summit, it is wise to bring a spare as potholes occasionally flatten tires.” – Arnie Sherr
Life can mean goose bumps for all; if only dreams are followed – the more grandiose the better.
“Limits do in fact; diminish the size of the prize.” Arnie Sherr
The greatest challenge among mature job seekers (forty-five and over) is overcoming the age barrier.
Keeping their age camouflaged in cover letters and resumes is key; however, mastering the skill to write without unintended hints is a unique talent, especially when writing about one’s self. I suggest after writing your Cover Letter and Resume you have one or two total strangers read them attempting to evaluate whether or not the subject appears as mature. Most times, even though direct references are carefully avoided, indirect or subliminal references of maturity generally find their way into the mature writer’s style.
Frankly, I believe employers are missing out on the most valuable sector of available workers. Below is the best of many reasons why mature employees are a better choice.
- Greater stamina and determination.
Most times mature employees work out of financial necessity or because they find staying busy is mentally and physically beneficial. Understand how challenging it is to acquire jobs at their more senior ages; they are less apt to take jobs lightly. On the other hand, many younger employees, whose lives are for the most part socially active, may consider their jobs subservient to a multitude of other interests. They are aware that at their younger energetic ages and income needs, finding new jobs is thought to be not so very difficult.
- They are prideful of the deliberate high quality of their performance and it is generally apparent that they work because they want to more so than have to.
For mature employees there is the consistent precept of competing against younger counterparts. I know from experience how gratifying it is to win tennis matches competing against players some twenty or more years my junior. Mature employees enjoy a tremendous ego rush when they are recognized or commended for outperforming their younger counterparts. Their counterparts however, generally feel that older employees haven’t the stamina or smarts to compete. Moreover, the tendency of them is taking themselves for granted. Mature employees cannot afford to make such ill-advised assumptions.
- They’re more reliable, consistent, and punctual.
Couple of reasons for this: For the mature worker the job is at the top of the “important” list. It supplements income (retirement, social security, etc. – could even be the sole source); their less active social schedule is relieved because having jobs maintains their sense of contribution and keeps them mentally adept. The importance of being on the job and the fear of being vulnerable to lay-off encourages demonstrations of commitment, dedications, reliability, consistent focus and punctuality. “If I am let go, it won’t be because I broke rules, failed to do my job, or in any way contributed my departure.”
- They offer problem-solving and mathematical skills from years of experience.
Experience for many recruiters seems generally overlooked when faced with interviewing confident, well-seasoned, and mature candidates. Developing analytical skills is an overtime enhancement process. Like many things, proficiency improves with repetition. It is proved over and over; when any task is consistently repeated it is likely to evolve into a habit. Realizing there are both good and bad habits, mature employees have generally discarded the bad and have learned to benefit their employers’ mission practicing only the good. The advantage of developing and practicing good habits is the heightened performance and results they produce. Of them, they are more likely to be accurate, timely, appropriate, and extremely profitable.
- They’re not always looking over their shoulder for the next better paying opportunity.
Mature employees tend to be less concerned with growth than they are in maintaining financial stability and/or productive activity levels. They enjoy interacting with others and may even benefit socially as a result of the workplace. And of course, there is no reason for jealousy, envy or other such destructive and professionally useless emotions. As such, they think more day-to-day, whereas their younger counterparts think a great deal about growth, opportunity, and the future.
- Their priorities have shifted.
They don’t face the same financial stresses as younger workers. Mature employees are a valuable learning resource for younger ambitious employees. Observing their more mature counterparts, they may view examples that might enhance their people skills, and many other developed qualities and characteristics that have improved to levels of excellence because of the tenure. Supported data suggests that mature employees are not only the most tenured but work they highest average number of hours per week. This proves as they claim; they are very capable of meeting the challenge.
Alex Pratt, The Fairmont Copley Plaza’s regional director of human resources stated, “We wanted employees with more empathy. We’ve found that more tenured workers are more inclined to be empathetic. In our restaurant we have older workers who have owned restaurants and are successful in their own right. They still very much want to work, and they bring genuine warmth to the job. Some of our people work two jobs. They seem to have a passion for what they’re doing; and from that we benefit.”
As a mature candidate seeking employment, it is imperative you arm yourself with as many benefits and positives as you can remember and list with which to make the point that choosing you over younger less seasoned applicants is a decision of good judgment. Most times interviewers will be junior to you; some significantly so. Since age is perceptive to the age perceiver, establishing value without referencing age difference, either pointedly or by insinuation, is the right agenda.
Since interviews are nothing more than sales opportunities your agenda must be centered on solutions rather than qualifications. We don’t buy based on nuts and bolts. We purchase because that we select solves needs and wants. Most buys are made emotionally. Since feeling “inspired” is an emotion and inspiration drive most decisions, including hiring decisions, it is incumbent that you attempt inspiring those before whom you interview. Inspiring people are believed to be more credible, genuine, committed and dedicated; reliable, dependable, honest, and influential. These, among others, are great qualities for a myriad of job designations; they are also important and valued human qualities. There is but one way to inspire others, “Sizzle them.”
“SIZZLE” is that which results in solutions, benefits, productivity; growth and profits.
What “SIZZLE” is not: bells and whistles (age, appearance, skills, assets, characteristics, attributes, emotions, etc.)
Can you become compelling? If you can be compelling, communicating your ability to provide solutions, benefits, productivity, and growth and profits, the only reason you may not offered the job will be that another did a better job than you selling “SIZZLE.” What are the chances?
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford (1863-1947)
“If you buy into the age barrier; having others believe it is irrelevant never sells” – Arnie Sherr
BY ARNIE SHERR, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE RESUME STORE
What is your driving force? What keeps you going? Is it meeting the bills and living paycheck to paycheck or is it more than that? When the day is done and you lie down to rest your physical being for the night, do life-fantasies infiltrate your thoughts; many times giving way to wonderfully exciting dreams that seem vague after you’ve awaken? You cannot remember their detail, but you know they are worth re-dreaming.
Without unconscious and conscious imaginings, why is our will to go on so strong? Even among the greatest of the worst, we continue to exist and strive. Who among us would continue were it not for a “Glimmer of Hope?”
Fortunately, there are few by comparison that becomes so downtrodden that hope no longer glimmers. For me, “Glimmer of Hope” translates to achieving personal goals. At my senior age, I have not given-up. For you, “Glimmer of Hope” may have different perceptions.
For those unemployed I make this analogy. The perception of glimmer may be “the chicken crossing an out-of-the-way bridge over a road with heavy traffic has much more than a glimmer of hope of getting to the other side, whereas the same chicken crossing a busy expressway during rush hour has only a glimmer of hope of getting to the other side.”
The moral is: “Is the shortest and more treacherous route always the best?” I can hear the chicken now, “I’ll get to the other side or I’ll die trying.”
“It is not always how quickly we get there if hazards impede the result.” – Arnie Sherr
There are no time limits on achievement; only those that is self-imposed. True, circumstances may add pressures, but remember the dangers inherent of taking shortcuts. It is like leaving the cheese out the cheese sandwich. It’s still a sandwich but it certainly doesn’t taste like a cheese sandwich. Shortcuts may get you a job; but is it THE job?
The longer and safer route to THE job is making sure your cover letter and resume complies with present employer requirements and that you are prepared and ready to interview in the most effective and impressive manners. The unemployment rate is remarkably higher. Under such treacherous conditions special attention must be given to documents, procedure, uniqueness, thoroughness, and professional approaches. Leaving stones unturned shortcuts your potential and reduces your ability to compete.
Certainly, getting A job may pay some bills; but please, do not give up on getting THE job. There is always a “Glimmer of Hope.” Unemployed Floridians are indeed challenged to get to the other side of the busy expressway during rush hours. Investing in and taking the longer route improves your odds of a successful crossover.
As ill advised as it is, would the chicken attempt the shorter, but dangerous crossing of the busy rush hour expressway were it not for a Glimmer? Were I the chicken, I would not favor my odds!
The Resume Store is the right choice for making your Glimmer of Hope a reality. Remember,
“Your resume is your real first impression. Maker it Count!”
Editorial by Arnie Sherr, CEO of The Resume Store
How often have you heard this bit of wisdom, “You only get one chance to make a first impression?”
Article after article has been written about the importance of first impressions in the interview process. However, the interview is not your “first chance” to make that most important “first impression.”
How about considering the fact that the first thing an HR professional sees is your Resume and Cover Letter. What kind of first impression is your Resume and Cover Letter making?
Someone once asked me, “Why should I have to pay you for services just because I can’t do it myself?”
If you had a painfully abscessed tooth, would you pay a dentist for his expert services to remove your tooth, or would you get a plier from your toolkit and pull it yourself?
The fact is, so many un, under, and unhappily employed persons struggle to avoid paying for the services of a professional resume service; yet, when it comes to acquiring the expert services of a dentist, they won’t hesitate to make an appointment. In reality, the pain of unemployment may be more painful than that of a toothache.
Aside from all other considerations, your Cover Letter and Resume are your FIRST IMPRESSION when looking for a job. That’s right; three pieces of paper that could make or break whether or not you are invited to interview. How bad do you want a job? Well, you can’t have one without first being interviewed. Without and excellent Cover Letter and Resume, you may easily have blown your REAL FIRST IMPRESSION.
Ask yourself, how much would you pay for a $30, $50 or $100,000+ a year job? When it comes to making that FIRST IMPRESSION, refusing to make the initial investment in a professional Cover Letter and Resume is a huge mistake.
“Your RESUME and COVER LETTER are your REAL FIRST IMPRESSION;
MAKE IT COUNT!”