Whether you are attending a networking event, going on an interview or starting a new job, it’s essential to always present the best version of yourself. Although certain professional environments can be high-pressure and nerve-wracking, first impressions are everything.
To stand out from your peers and overcome the nerves you may feel, make sure you remember to:
Always show those pearly whites! Softening your face with a genuine smile makes you much more approachable, and gives you great energy. A smile is one of the greatest ice-breakers when meeting new people and it will also help you feel more at ease.
Stand Up Straight
Great posture is also important! Even if you’re nervous inside, don’t let it show on the outside. Remind yourself to stand up tall with your shoulders back, giving yourself a much more self-assured, confident appearance. Just like with smiling, great posture can actually help to calm your nerves and make you feel more relaxed.
Make Eye Contact
Making eye contact with people, especially when you’re nervous, can be really intimidating. However, eye contact while chatting up recruiters or during an interview is crucial! In addition to conveying confidence and preparation, eye contact shows genuine interest and approachability. Practice as you go about your daily routine, and once you sit down for your next interview it will feel so much more natural.
Whether you are meeting someone at an event or greeting a recruiter at the start of an interview, always shake their hand firmly. Combined with a smile and eye contact, a firm, smooth handshake makes a great first impression and further conveys confidence and self-assurance. Just like eye contact, practice makes perfect!
Know Your Pitch
To keep that great first impression going after the handshake, you should be prepared to present yourself in a quick, interesting way. Instead of only mentioning your name, school and major, mix it up! Talk about your background, including your school, major, where you’re from and where you live and also mention a recent accomplishment, as well as what you want to do next. Rehearse in front of a mirror ahead of time to ensure a smooth, natural delivery.
Practice all five of these tips together and you’ll be ready to make a great first impression on everyone you meet!