First Impressions

First Impressions

Life teaches us lessons every day. You just have to look for them some days more than others. If you’re not looking, you’re not learning.  If you’re not learning…. Well, you’re getting left behind.



Our inspirational moment this week comes from attending recent job fairs and seeing some common no-no’s when it comes to candidates trying to land a job.  Whether you like it or not, first impressions matter.  Take this all with a grain of salt.  We’re just pointing out things you might try to avoid.

When attending a job fair, or going on an interview:

  • Don’t get so close to the recruiter that they have to take a step back (see Seinfeld – close talkers).
  • Sparkles or bedazzle on your attire probably isn’t a good thing. Save them for the celebration party when you get the job.
  • Uggs to not count as dress shoes. You don’t have to wear wingtips or Manolo Blahniks, but we’re sure you have something in the middle that look nice.
  • Yoga pants don’t count as “pants.” Try dress slacks, business suit, or something else clean, pressed and neat.
  • Short Skirt Long Jacket is the name of a song. Not a dress code you should aspire to for interviews. The same would apply for low cut blouses, midriffs, etc.
  • Hats. Unless your name is Rick Blaine (Casablanca), you don’t wear it nearly well enough to wear while speaking to a hiring manager.  Take the hat off before coming in the room/building.
  • Sending your mom, dad, friend, or someone else to look for jobs for you only begs the question of why you’re not there.  Do your best to be there, but your person isn’t going to ask the same questions you will, and won’t be able to present the best you have to offer.
  • Don’t hang up (or storm away from) on recruiters who are trying to help you with a job. You won’t get a second chance.

The list can go on and on, but most will tend to gravitate towards one of the above items. Best practices would indicate you want to be yourself, but be a little conservative with your approach.  Show enthusiasm, but not desperation. Dress nice, but “business” nice. You want people to remember not only your skills/experience, but how you handled yourself in front of complete strangers.  As the saying goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make that first impression,’ so make it a great one!

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