Top Three Keys To Making A Great First Impression

Dec 1


Cathy Eng

Cathy Eng

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When you are job searching, you want to be prepared from all angles. Once you apply for a job, the microscope zooms in and you must be prepared to be examined. Putting your best foot forward when you are being so closely inspected involves more than presenting an error-free resume and wearing a nice smile. Here are the three pieces that fit together to shape how employers see you. Are you lacking in any of these areas?

1. On paper (your cover letter and resume)
The first impression almost any employer will have of you is in your cover letter and resume. Most employers read cover letters,Top Three Keys To Making A Great First Impression Articles which are intended to set the tone for your resume and let the reader know why you are interested in the position. Resist the urge to make your cover letter boring (i.e. "I'm applying for the manager position. I am organized and task-oriented..."). You want to grab the reader’s attention so use exciting, illustrative language. 
Your resume should be the perfect balance of concise and descriptive. It should give them enough results-focused information to make them interested in learning more about you. Both your resume and cover letter should be personalized to each job to which you are applying. Hiring managers can tell if you are blindly sending these documents out to any old job posting you come across. 
2. Online (your cyber reputation)
There is a good chance you will be looked up online (or “Googled”) within the process of your job search. Recruiters, hiring managers, potential bosses and supervisors - they all want to check you out. What is it they will find? A good place to start is by Googling yourself. Cleaning up any unsavory information you find on your personal blog or website would be a good idea. Also be sure to update your social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace). Drunken party pics and lewd language - everyone can see this stuff! Most importantly, establish a solid professional networking identity through LinkedIn. This is now the “go-to” networking resource for professionals. If Facebook is your Saturday night, LinkedIn is your Monday morning. As such, it should be taken more seriously.
Not only should each of these online portals be free of any questionable information about you, they should also reflect your dedication to your career. For example, don’t just create a LinkedIn profile and leave it sparse; that communicates that you don’t have follow-through. Develop it into your online repertoire and make connections! There is online help to get starting, or you can use a professional resume writing service that offers LinkedIn profile development services.
3. In person (your professional image and attitude)
Once you get past the resume screening and put through the online "wringer", you must pass the live test: the interview. This is where it is essential that your professional image and attitude are sharp and professional. What are your appearance and attitude currently communicating? Do you show up to interviews in wrinkled khakis or a too-tight miniskirt? Are you conveying arrogance or passiveness? These are all problems that can equate to saying, “I’m not right for this company or this position.” 
You want to use your attire and demeanor to communicate what you really want to say: “I am a perfect fit for this company and position, and you should hire me right away!!” Send the right message by dressing appropriately and cleanly. Your attitude should mirror your appearance: confident, personable, and above all, professional. There are also many resources online for helping you to maximize your image and attitude to present the best “you”.
While most people just focus on their resume or interview etiquette, it is important that all angles are covered to ensure you present yourself in the most optimal light possible. By fitting these three pieces together you help eliminate any holes that might hurt your chances of getting your foot in the door.

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