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How a Professional First Impression Advances Your Career

Posted by Brian Spence on Jun 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Career AdviceWhatever profession you choose, you will meet people whose opinion of you will affect the course of your career. That first contact creates a snapshot of you in their minds - the telling First Impression.

A person's initial perception of you takes root and is the foundation of any relationship you construct thereafter. If it goes badly, even if you get the position, you're starting from behind. You'll spend time and effort trying to amend someone's bad opinion of you instead of being productive.

It's like building a foundation for your new house; if it isn't exact and square, the structure will never be right, and you'll have problems that can only be fixed with complicated and costly repairs. Avoid the consequences of a first impression misstep; it's better to do it right in the first place. Here are a few suggestions from experts in this area.

Author and personal coach, Patrick King, delves into first impressions in his book, Connect Instantly: 60 Seconds to Likability, Meaningful Connections, and Hitting it Off With Anyone. King advises looking at body language to gauge how you're doing. Keep track of your body and actions; you may be talking too fast or interrupting. Non-verbal communication is still communication. You can tell when someone wants to cut the conversation short by their posture and movements. If they turn their shoulders, break eye contact and look away, they're sending the message that they are not engaged in the conversation. King is talking about social situations here; but an HR interviewer who seems distracted and acts as if he's hurrying you along is probably not going to hire you.

Remember an interview is a two-way communication; be sure to listen as well as talk in addition to these other tips.

It is better to pause and think carefully for a moment about what you want to say than to just blurt out the first words that pop into your head

This tip comes from Dale Carnegie, an innovator in self-improvement from the 30s to the 50s, and whose principles are still followed today.

How you conduct yourself determines the interviewer's first impression of you. Follow the examples of experts. Present yourself well, communicate with respect and genuine interest in the other person; and their positive impression of you will bode well for your overall job success.

To learn more about this and other tips for advancing your career, visit the Career Advice and Self-Improvement sections of our blog.


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Topics: Career Advice, Self-Improvement

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