Set to Impress


It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed. With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person's impression of you is formed. These first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for the all the relationships that follows. So, whether they are in your career or social life, it's important to know how to create a good first impression.

10 Tips to Make a Great Impression

Be on Time
The person you are meeting for the first time is not interested in your "good excuse" for running late. Plan to arrive a few minutes early. And allow flexibility for possible delays in traffic or taking a wrong turn. Arriving early is much better that arriving late, hands down, and is the first step in creating a great first impression.

Be Yourself, Be at Ease
If you are feeling uncomfortable and on edge, this can make the other person ill at ease and that's a sure way to create the wrong impression. If you are calm and confident, so the other person will feel more at ease, and so have a solid foundation for making that first impression a good one.

Present Yourself Appropriately
Of course physical appearance matters. The person you are meeting for the first time does not know you and your appearance is usually the first clue he or she has to go on. But it certainly does not mean you need to look like a model to create a strong and positive first impression. (Unless you are interviewing with your local model agency, of course!)
No. The key to a good impression is to present yourself appropriately. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and so the "picture" you first present says much about you to the person you are meeting. Is your appearance saying the right things to help create the right first impression? Start with the way you dress. What is the appropriate dress for the meeting or occasion? In a business setting, what is the appropriate business attire? Suit, blazer, casual? And ask yourself what the person you'll be meeting is likely to wear - if your contact is in advertising or the music industry, a pinstripe business suit may not strike the right note! For business and social meetings, appropriate dress also varies between countries and cultures, so it's something that you should pay particular attention to when in an unfamiliar setting or country. Make sure you know the traditions and norms. And what about your personal grooming? Clean and tidy appearance is appropriate for most business and social occasions. A good haircut or shave. Clean and tidy clothes. Neat and tidy make up. Make sure your grooming is appropriate and helps make you feel "the part". Appropriate dressing and grooming help make a good first impression and also help you feel "the part", and so feel more calm and confident. Add all of this up and you are well on your way to creating a good first impression.

A Word about Individuality
The good news is you can usually create a good impression without total conformity or losing your individuality. Yes, to make a good first impression you do need to "fit in" to some degree. But it all goes back to being appropriate for the situation. If in a business setting, wear appropriate business attire. If at a formal evening social event, wear appropriate evening attire. And express your individuality appropriately within that context.
A Winning Smile!
"Smile and the world smiles too." So there's nothing like a smile to create a good first impression. A warm and confident smile will put both you and the other person at ease. So smiling is a winner when it comes to great first impressions. But don't go overboard with this - people who take this too far can seem insincere and smarmy, or can be seen to be

Be Open and Confident
When it comes to making the first impression, body language as well as appearance speaks much louder than words. Use your body language to project appropriate confidence and self-assurance. Stand tall, smile (of course), make eye contact, greet with a firm handshake. All of this will help you project confidence and encourage both you and the other person feel better at ease. Almost everyone gets a little nervous when meeting someone for the first time, which can lead to nervous habits or sweaty palms. By being aware of your nervous habits, you can try to keep them in check. And controlling a nervous jitter or a nervous laugh will give you confidence and help the other person feel at ease.

Small Talk Goes a Long Way.
Conversations are based on verbal give and take. It may help you to prepare questions you have for the person you are meeting for the first time beforehand. Or, take a few minutes to learn something about the person you meet for the first time before you get together. For instance, does he play golf? Does she work with a local charitable foundation?
Is there anything that you know of that you have in common with the person you are meeting? If so, this can be a great way to open the conversation and to keep it flowing.

Be Positive
Your attitude shows through in everything you do. Project a positive attitude, even in the face of criticism or in the case of nervousness. Strive to learn from your meeting and to contribute appropriately, maintaining an upbeat manner and a smile.

Be Courteous And Attentive
It goes without saying that good manners and polite, attentive and courteous behaviour help make a good first impression. In fact, anything less can ruin the one chance you have at making that first impression. So be on your best behaviour! One modern manner worth mentioning is "turn off your mobile phone". What first impression will you create if you are already speaking to someone other than the person you are meeting for the first time? Your new acquaintance deserves 100% of your attention. Anything less and you'll create a less than good first impression.

Key Points
You have just a few seconds to make a good first impression and it's almost impossible ever to change it. So it's worth giving each new encounter your best shot. Much of what you need to do to make a good impression is common sense. But with a little extra thought and preparation, you can hone your intuitive style and make every first impression not just good but great.

Deciding on what to wear can be influenced on the job role or indeed industry. If in doubt try to imagine what the interviewer would be wearing and mirror accordingly. Not every job interviewer will expect you to wear a suit of some kind. Even so you still need to look sharp. Research the company's dress code and step it up a notch for the interview. The visual message you send makes a big difference in how you're perceived and ultimately whether or not you get the job Whether you're going for a blue collar job or a white collar job, a creative role or a business role, there is one general rule when it comes to what to wear: dress up. The general consensus amongst the career crowd is that dressing to impress for that first job interview not only tells the interviewer you are serious about the job but also that you're serious about yourself. Even in cases where the company culture allows casual dress every day or where the role requires you to wear work denims, it's still a good idea to dress in formal office gear for the initial job interview. For example, for an office-based corporate role, a suit and tie for men and pants or skirt suit for women would be a good idea. For a trade role, process worker, entry level role or job in a less formal office environment, a crisp, clean shirt/top and jacket with either trousers or pants and closed toe shoes for a woman or shirt and tie and jacket for a guy with dress shoes and business socks is fine. As a general rule, take extra care with your appearance for a job interview. Think about what you are going to wear a few days before hand so you can check for stains, loose buttons and stray threads. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed.

Nobody likes to talk about it, but personal hygiene often leaves more of a lasting impression than your interview performance. You only get one chance to make a first impression. No matter how beautiful your job interview clothes, your personal hygiene could let you down.

Saying No to BO
Deodorants are important to make you smell good. Antiperspirants help to reduce sweating (which can increase during a job interview)

Hair in All the Wrong Places
Areas men are prone to excess hair include nose, ear and eyebrows. Areas women are prone to excess hair lip, chin and eyebrows

Shower Power
Not only does a shower clean your body. It also ensures you remove dead skin cells and can also reinvigorate a tired body

Hair Care
Shampoo and condition regularly. Have your hair trimmed every 6 weeks. Do not use 2- in-1 shampoos. Comb conditioner through your hair for best results

Always ensure fresh breath by brushing and flossing your teeth. Avoid eating garlic or smoking before an interview. Carry mints with you

Men can wear a little aftershave. Choose a subtle fragrance (PS Obsession and Joop are big turnoffs in interviews). Women can wear a little perfume

Foot Odour
Ensure you use clean sock (cotton preferred), use odour eaters if necessary.
On paper, the applicant looked like a strong candidate for chief financial officer: graduate of a top business school, solid work history and top-notch references. But at the initial interview with a major employer, the candidate offered a dead-fish handshake, slouched and fidgeted in his chair, failed to make eye contact with the interviewer and mumbled responses to basic questions. Was he unprepared for the interview or just nervous because so much was on the line? It made no difference--his weak body language killed his chances despite strong credentials. A strong cover letter and resume will get you an interview for that dream job, but you can easily kill your chances with weak body language. Presentation sets you apart from other applicants in a competitive situation. Many people polish their verbal skills for an interview, but few give much consideration to their body language, and that's a mistake. When you walk into a job interview, the first impression is made in three to seven seconds. "One study found that a first impression is based on 7% spoken words, 38% tone of voice and 55% body language." A bad first impression is difficult to overcome, no matter how solid your credentials. But with a little work and practice, you can buff up your body language skills to boost your chances of nailing the interview and taking the next big step in your career. To see and hear yourself as others see and hear you, practice your presentation in front of a mirror while speaking into a tape recorder. No one can fault you for being too formal in an interview. But being sloppy, or even too casual, will kill your prospects. Pay attention to little things, like posture, sitting up straight, planting your feet squarely on the floor, hand position and making eye contact with the interviewer.

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* 1. What strengths do you have in the area of personal presentation?

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* 2. What weaknesses do you have in the area of personal presentation?

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* 3. What opportunities do you have available to you to assist with your personal presentation?

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* 4. What things may pose a threat to your personal presentation?

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* 5. Student Details