“First impressions are make or break,” said speaker Susan Young at a recent seminar on first impressions. The event, held at DreamBank in Madison on the Capitol Square, focused on how to make the best first impression in any situation.
A few of her key points easily translate into tips for job seekers who want to make a positive impact in an interview. The job interview is the ultimate test of first impressions between applicants and potential employers that can impact whether or not someone is hired for a job. Three of Young’s points standout as advice job seekers might want to take into consideration when embarking on the next step in their career.
How You Show Up
In her presentation, Young pointed out multiple ways in which someone can improve what they project out into the world. She states, “how you show up” matters to other people. If you show up as your best, authentic self, other people will take notice. Job applicants who pretend to be something they are not, can find themselves turning off a potential employer. When applicants demonstrate a passion for an area of expertise, the hiring manager will take notice.
Be Your Own Brand
In today’s world, brands are not just about companies or products anymore. People are as much of a brand in the way they present themselves to the world as a soda company or a pair of jeans. A job applicant’s personal brand can be anything from your social media personality to how you are dressed for an interview, or as Young says, “branding speaks for you before you ever open your mouth”. In the world of job searching, a clean, pressed suit is just as important as a professional social media presence.
A Shift In Physiology
Many people might not be aware that 55 percent of the messages sent to other people are communicated through body language. Words only make up seven percent of our communication, while 38 percent comes from the tone or voice in which those messages are delivered. Young encourages a simple switch from a slumped posture to a sitting up straight to change your entire energy to a send a more positive message to the other person. A job applicant who sits up straight and makes good eye contact with an interviewer will offer a better first impression than someone who slouched in a chair that projects a negative or indifferent energy.
Her advice carries through to beyond the job interview as well. These tips are helpful when it comes to first impressions on the first day of a new job, an important presentation or a big networking event. A positive attitude, teamed with the right kind of body language will help to elevate your professional presence.
To find out more about how to make a better first impression at a job interview, contact one of our Madison area recruiters for details at (608) 257-2411.
Stephanie Beirne Leuer is the Marketing Coordinator at Drake & Company Staffing Solutions, a staffing firm based in Madison, Wisconsin. Drake & Company specializes in temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire administrative, clerical and legal placements. Since 1978, Drake has reached beyond skills and qualifications to match candidate personalities with a company’s culture. You can connect with Stephanie by email, and you can find Drake & Company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.