Thursday, September 8, 2011 myBiz Blog
Making a Positive First Impression by Lisa Collins

We have all heard the sayings, "You never get a second chance to make a good first impression" and “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” How many of us judge people by the way they talk, or even by the way they answer the telephone?

We form opinions about people the first time we see or hear them; we even form opinions about people we have never met! People's perception about us does matter. You CANNOT, NOT make a first impression! From the moment you enter a room, people immediately form impressions. In business, a firm handshake, eye contact, your appearance, wardrobe and body language will be quickly noticed.

Here are some quick tips to making a good first impression!

Name Tags

  • Name tags are always worn on your right-hand side to make it easier for others to read your name while shaking hands

Body Language

  • A smile is the fastest way to break the ice; eye contact builds trust and rapport
  • Be aware of your posture. Whether standing or sitting, good posture displays confidence
  • Nervous habits or gestures can turn people off. Try to break these habits!

Handshake

  • A good handshake begins with eye contact; always stand to shake hands unless you are both seated
  • Hands should always meet web to web and palm to palm. Grips should be firm, not crushing. A handshake is usually three pumps
  • Business meetings and interviews start and end with a handshake

Introductions

  • In a business environment, rank is most important when making an introduction; Client/customer is always the most important person
  • Both men and women should always rise to meet or greet someone
Business Atire
  • Always be well groomed and keep your clothing well maintained (hemmed, ironed, cleaned, etc.); proper fit and tailoring of clothing is more important than the cost or brand of the clothing
  • When in doubt, dress more conservatively and formal; don’t mistake casual clothes for business casual
Check out the BCC tips on business attire at http://ww.bus.wisc.edu/career/student/resumes/attire/default.asp

Try the tips listed above at the Career & Internship Fair on Thursday, September 15th from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. Check out what you should do before, during and after the career fair at http://ww.bus.wisc.edu/career/student/events/forum/tips/. Also, prepare your elevator speech! Include your name, year, and major; why you are here and what type of opportunities you are seeking. Also include your experience (work, internship, activities, volunteer work) and knowledge of company. Ask a question that will engage the representative in a conversation.

To learn more about attending the career fair, attend the Making the Most of the Career & Internship Fair on Tuesday, September 13th beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Next week, check out the post on how to successfully complete the online employer applications!