Career Now Series: First Impressions – Make Them Count!

Count to 3.

Done? Believe it or not, three seconds can be all it takes for someone to form their first impression of you. With just a quick glance at your body language, appearance, and mannerisms, the human brain starts making assumptions about who you are. So, why is this important?

A person’s first impression of you can often make or break their long-term impression of you as well. When it comes to your career, it’s important to take a look at what type of first impression you leave behind. The good news is that training yourself to make a strong first impression doesn’t have to be difficult! Observing your own body language and being aware of the level of confidence you exude is an important exercise.

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How to Make a Strong First Impression:

1.  Prepare ahead of time.

Assess the situation before you go in and be prepared for what you’re walking into! Think about who you’ll be interacting with and what they will be expecting from you. Put your mind at ease and prepare ahead of time.

2. Observe your own body language.

Pay attention to your physical mannerisms and work on having open body language. Get feedback from your friends on your attitude, posture, eye contact, etc.

3. Remain confident and give off positive vibes.

Being prepared ahead of time helps with this!  You’re likely to stand out if you come off as someone who “brightens a room.” Plus, if you feel confident, your body language will most likely reflect that.

4. Be punctual.

The easiest way to leave a poor first impression is to make someone wait on you.

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Ready to whip your “First Impression” skills into shape? Check out the #Passion2Action podcast for even more information and tips. Our partners at Why Millennials Matter will be posting new episodes each week, expanding on the topics discussed here and supplemented with interviews! Tune in and tweet us your thoughts or questions – tag them #CareerNow!

Get even MORE from the #CareerNow series. Check out all of our recent articles:

Getting Started with Career Now

Learning to Lead and Executive Presence

Creating a Portfolio

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#Passion2Action | ACTION ITEM: Read Your Body Language!

It can be difficult to be aware of your own body language. This week, take a closer look at how you present yourself!

  1. Think about how YOU think a confident and positive person would stand and move. They would probably stand up straight and have their head held high, right? Envision this for yourself.
  2. Take a look in the mirror (floor-length is best). Look at your posture and how you carry yourself. Flash a smile, do a few turns….get familiar with your natural mannerisms. See how they line up with what you just envisioned!
  3. Ask a friend, roommate, family member, etc. to do a mock introduction with you. Shake their hand and introduce yourself. Then, ask for their feedback! How was your attitude? Did you seem open to conversation? Take what they say into consideration and be aware for next time.
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