Did you know it takes only a few seconds to form a first impression of someone?
An employer will have likely formed an impression of you before you’ve even had a chance to say hello.
Why is good personal presentation so important when meeting employers?
First impressions are really important when meeting employers. Employers will likely make assumptions about you based on how you look and dress. To make a positive first impression, take some time to think about what message your personal appearance and body language might be sending.
Consider the following:
- Your physical appearance. Are you wearing clean and neat clothes? Is your hair clean and brushed?
Dressing well shows the employer you are taking them seriously. It can also help you feel more confident and professional.
- Your body language. Are you smiling? Making eye contact? Is you posture good?
Positive body language can show the employer that you are genuinely interested in meeting them.
- How you speak to and get along with others. Are you being friendly and polite to everyone you meet?
This can show an employer how well you interact with others around you. This can also show them how you might fit into their workplace.
These tips can help you ensure you make a good first impression:
1. Dress the part
Think carefully about what to wear to an interview.
Show the employer that you are serious about the job by putting effort into your clothing.
So what should you wear?
- For a professional office job. Wear business attire (clean and ironed). Keep makeup and jewellery to a minimum.
- Casual and less conservative setting (for example retail, hospitality or a trades position). Try to dress up rather than down and go for neat, clean and ironed at a minimum. Remember that what you see workers wearing on the job might not reflect what the employer expects applicants to wear at an interview, so always dress a little better.
2. Do your hair
Make sure your hair is clean and tidy. If it is long, tie it back so it's not in your eyes. Employers have told us that applicants who have untidy or dirty hair do not leave a good impression.
3. Watch your body language
Employers are impressed by job seekers who:
- smile and are friendly
- offer a firm handshake
- make eye contact
- have good posture (it makes you appear more confident).
Practise meeting an employer for the first time in front of a mirror. This can give you immediate feedback on how you appear to an employer.
These tools can help you:
…Or you can browse Job Jumpstart for other ideas and suggestions of what to do next.