Angela Stanton ’16, Advertising Major
Here we are again, another New Year is here and it is time for another New Year’s Resolution. My resolution is to make 2016 count and what better way to do it than by making a great first impression. According to Urban Dictionary a “first impression” is how you present yourself when meeting a new person. Many people look back on first impressions and wish they’d made a better one.
Jesus Christ, Kate, you should’ve told me your parents would be there. I would have worn more suitable clothes to give them a good first impression…You really ****** up my evening (Hogsworth 2005).
First impressions are immediate and can be long lasting so making a great first impression is key! They can be accurate, or arbitrary, but they stick with you for better or for worse. They can make or break a job interview and can help you get a job.
Here are a few tips to making a great first impression:
1. Have a firm handshake. Having a firm handshake says a lot about an individual. It demonstrates how confident you are and that you are comfortable meeting new people and potential employers love that. I know it seems silly but practice your handshake with friends and family until you are comfortable doing it. And remember no one likes to shake hands with someone who is trying to hurt them or gives them the limp fish handshake.
2. Dress for success. Maybe you’ve noticed that the closer that you get to graduation, the more everybody is dressing up for class. It is time to present ourselves professionally and be prepared for a chance encounter with a potential employer. One way to improve your odds of making a great first impression is to dress like you have the job you want. If you look the part then potential employers will see this is a plus. Here are some looks we love that work for everyday business casual!
You can wear this outfit to anything! The dress fits perfectly and is appropriate for all office settings. You can dress it up with a coat, a belt and heels or wear it during the warmer months without the leggings and by adding a pair of heels or flats. The simple color is versatile with any color of accessories. A dress like this is an essential wardrobe item for all women!The tucked in shirt and sports jacket really make this an excellent outfit for any business occasion. It would fit in well with a small business setting, as well as a business casual environment. Matching shoes and jacket really tie it all together!A genuine smile and eye contact can make an everlasting first impression. Combining body language with a modest and simple outfit, can open the doors to everyday opportunities. You don’t have to dress in a pantsuit every day, but do be prepared because you never know who you might come across during your typical day!A great every day outfit, for whomever you might encounter! The long sleeves and natural color really creates a comforting, yet professional image. Good posture is also key to showing confidence and welcoming those around you for conversation.Here is an excellent business professional outfit. Stick to neutral colors and hem the length of the skirt right above or below the knee, which is the ideal length for a professional setting.
3. Be on time and be prepared. Being on time is important because it shows that you are dedicated and have a strong work ethic. This is so important and yet often overlooked. Being prepared by researching the topic of your meeting ahead of time can make a difference and give you an edge. Employers will notice and you will be better equipped to adapt to different situations as they arise.
4. Get organized. The beginning of the year is a great time to buy a planner or calendar at the PSU Bookstore. They have a great selection and most are on sale right now!
5. Make eye contact and be aware of your body language this is always important in business. Having good eye contact and upright body language is another way to make a great impression. Again, it shows you are confident!
There are several opportunities coming up for Career Week to help you practice making a great first impression.
Peer advisor workshop series: Presenting a Professional Image on January 26th from 4:30-5:30 pm
Mock Interviews with Professionals on January 27th from 9:00 am-4:00 pm
School of Business Career & Internship Fair on January 28th from 2:30 – 5:30 pm
Hope to see y’all there and good luck with making great first impressions!
~ Angela Stanton ’16, Fearless Senior
Angela Stanton is a senior business student majoring in advertising.
She is also a member of the FIR Advertising student-run agency.