8 Tips for a Fabulous First Impression
You have probably heard it before: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
First impressions last. But how do you make sure you leave the impression that you were going for?
IAJN to the rescue with 8 tips for a fabulous and professional first impression.
1. The Outfit
Dress for success! Wear the most professional piece in your closet or borrow something from a friend. Of course you don’t always know who you will bump into, but there are situations when you do know, such as going to a network event, a job interview, your first day of work / study, or a meeting with a potential client.
Not only will you look professional and ready, you will also feel more confident knowing that you are dressed for success.
2. The Smile
You’re never fully dressed without a smile! And this goes for professional meetings just as much as for personal ones.
According to a survey conducted by Kelton Global, all positive first impressions come down to the power of a smile.
So smile your nerves away and leave a lasting impression!
As soon as you have eye-contact, get ready for the perfect handshake.
How you achieve this perfect handshake depends on where you are in the world.
4. The Name
Are you the first one to stick out your hand for that perfect handshake? Then be the first one to say your full name too, along with reaching out your hand. If you feel like saying your full name could be confusing (for instance if you both speak different languages), then use your first or last name only.
Business cards are a great solution to the confusion (and forgetting) of names.
Do everything you can to remember that other person’s name. What works best for me is to repeat the name immediately, and in a sentence. “Great to meet you, Lu Wie,” and then try to use the name in a question not much later “Lu Wie, how do you like working at company ABC?”
5. The Pitch Line
Practice a short and punchy pitch line to inform your conversation partner on who you are and what you want to do (or are already doing), if it's interesting enough conversation partner will ask you more about it.
“I just finished my Bachelors in Economics in Australia, I am now looking for a starters position in investment management.”
“Our company specializes in developing software applications. We help clients meeting the demands of their customers”
“I am developing my public speaking skills and I would love to get any tips you might have.”
6. The Other Person
Whatever it is you want to accomplish, listening is key. Ask questions and follow-up questions and not only will you get wiser, you will also be better liked and come across as intelligent and mature!
(To be extra likable, add in a few words to show you are interested and / or impressed.)
For instance, after asking what someone’s job is, ask follow-up questions, such as:
“That sounds interesting. Whatsort of companies do you target?”
“What exactly do you do in this role?”
“How long have you been working in this role / at this company?”
“What would an average day look like for you?”