One of the most traditional pieces of advice as old as age itself is that a first impression matters. As much as many of us don’t like to admit, humans inherently judge a book by its cover, assess food by how it smells and appears and potential bosses or employers do form opinions of your character and suitability for a position in their initial experiences with you. Here are some tips on how to make that highly-sought-after positive first impression be developed in each stage of the job selection process and to make it last after you’ve secured the position.

first impression

Resume

One of the most important aspects of a resume is to keep it stupid simple – yes another cliche, but hey, they were made for a reason. Make sure your resume is only one page or two at the most by using dot points, having a simple font and layout and not including too much personal information – for example they probably don’t want to know that you were top of Art class in Grade 5. And in your cover letter, ensure you are directly appealing to what the company is looking for in an applicant for their advertised position. Writing a CV also brings about a fine line between appearing arrogant and obnoxious about your skills and experience on the one hand, or selling yourself short and making yourself look incapable on the other. Get someone else to take a look so you can acquire this balance.

Interview

The most important aspects of making a good first impression in an interview are to dress professionally, be confident, smile when you first walk in, and shake the interviewer’s hand while looking them in the eye.Throughout the interview it is important to demonstrate your passion for the field and the job, and that you are willing to work hard and make use of all your appropriate attributes for the job. As well as being calm under pressure, it can also be helpful to show a little charm and wit as they are always helpful skills in any industry.

The First Day

So once you’ve charmed and impressed your way to the job, you need to make sure that a positive first impression is sustained, as most employees are often on a form of probation in the initial stages of their employment. Think of this as being the new kid in school when people are judging you, testing the waters and trying to see where you fit in. You don’t want to try to fit in too quickly or be too confident in the workplace as this often emits an ‘up-yourself-vibe’ and people will immediately be deterred. In terms of work ethic, you should immediately demonstrate your keenness for and appreciation of the job: whether that come in the form of staying back late during overtime, missing a few lunchbreaks, taking calls on a weekend or doing some of the crummier jobs around the office. You’ll soon find that people will come to appreciate this┬áperseverance and hard work ethic and will begin to respect you more, making your job more enjoyable, giving you better references and thereby helping foster a better first impression in your next job.

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