How to make a great first impression when job hunting
First impressions are important, as they often stick with people. Not to mention, in the context of the job search, if you leave a bad first impression, you may never get the opportunity to make a different one.
So, this article is all about how to make a great first impression so that you can step forward through the job hunt successfully and with confidence.
Make sure your digital footprint is impressive
Did you know that first impression starts before you even meet a person?
Yep, that’s right, we live in a world where, if they can, your new potential employer will look you up online before meeting you.
To make sure your digital footprint leaves a good impression, think of this list:
A full, up-to-date, and consistent LinkedIn profile (make sure there are no discrepancies with your resume)
A professional profile picture on LinkedIn
Highest privacy settings on personal social media such as Facebook and Instagram
No negative interactions or antagonistic comments anywhere online
A steady flow of posts and content on LinkedIn that reflect your knowledge and personality
Feature any content you have written about your industry on your LinkedIn profile
You can look into how to manage your digital footprint here.
And you can understand how to be a standout candidate on LinkedIn here.
Make it so your online presence actually enhances your job search!
Prepare for your interview, no winging it
Doing your research for a job interview is a basic job search tip that goes overlooked more than you realise. Researching the company, and even the person or people you are meeting with is essential before attending your interview.
It can be helpful to show you know some of their background and understand where they sit in the market, and what their potential needs may be (aka, what can you help them with!).
You can find a three-step process for research before your interview here, including searching on Google, Glassdoor, and social media. This process can also be helpful to raise any questions you might want to ask about!
Be on time!
Part of your preparation should include planning your travels to the interview. Make sure to account for anything that could go wrong such as late public transport or bad traffic. Plan to be around where you need to be early, and if you’re too early, just take a walk around the block.
Additionally, if this interview is online, make sure your technology is working well before you have to meet.
Aim to arrive in the building 10 minutes before the interview was planned for. You may have to wait but this shows you are respectful of time and punctual. For a video call, aim to jump on 5 minutes earlier.
Dress appropriately for your interview
Through your company research, hopefully you were able to gauge the level of professionalism or general workwear code of your potential new employer. This may be found on the company’s social media pages (even in any stock images they promote).
Plan an outfit that represents you and your style, that also screams, ‘I’m put together,’ and ‘I know how to use an iron.’ Being tidy and presentable is important, whether meeting in person or online. People can often judge quite quickly based on appearances, so making an effort in this department will make a good impression.
Be aware of your body language
Having closed-off body language can ruin a candidate's interview entirely, costing them the job. When we cross our arms, fidget, avoid eye contact, slouch, etc., we give off the vibe that we don’t want to be there, even if we may just be nervous or uncomfortable.
We want to appear confident and friendly in job interviews. Sit straight, make adequate eye contact during conversation, be mindful of any nervous movements and avoid crossing your arms over your chest. Nod and listen intently, think before you answer, and really engage in the conversation you are having with the interviewer.
Some confidence can be found in realising this is a two-way talk. Not only are they interviewing you, but you are also learning more about them and if they’re the kind of people and company you’d like to work with. This can help shrink that massive fear of judgement that many have when it comes to job interviews.
No matter whether your interview is online or in person, body language matters! Here are some tips to make sure you can impress in any situation.
Be personable and engaged
Before your interview, even days before, it can be helpful to do things that get you into a positive headspace. The simplest things can help with this such as eating well and exercising.
Being in a good headspace can really help show off your positive attitude as people not only consider your appearance and body language when they meet you but also your ‘vibe’ and the energy that you give off. If you are feeling negative this can show through the way you speak and act.
In addition to maintaining positive body language as mentioned above, it’s important to prepare some questions and engage in conversation with the interviewer.
Often the follow-up can go overlooked. If you feel you had a good conversation, it can really help to reach out and simply thank the person for their time. This is a sign of respect as well as ensuring your name is prompted again in their mind.
What are your favourite tips for making a good first impression?
- 11 days ago
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