Career Tips 08/11/2019 by "Rachel McCarthy"

Impressions Count – Here’s How To Harness Them

We’ve all heard one variation or another of the expression “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” 

It’s not just about wearing your nicest outfit and remaining awake enough to feign interest in the person you’re interacting with, it’s about showing respect and forming a bond that encourages both parties to treat each other well — a tactic which, in business and life, can take you a long way in the right direction. 

First Impressions First

We won’t repeat the phrase again. You already know it matters. But we want to explore why. 

Thankfully, the answer is not that complex. 

We, as humans, love to feel respected, interesting and valued in the eyes of others. 

Think of the last time a new person really made a great impression on you — it could be a client, a colleague, someone at a party, or a stranger on the street. Chances are they captured your attention because they showed you respect, made you feel interesting and seemed to value interacting with you. 

To the unconscious mind, we usually walk away from these situations thinking that we enjoyed speaking to them because they were interesting, worthy of respect, and valuable to talk to. While this would, of course, be true in part, it is also often true that how we describe them is actually how they made us feel, and this is what causes us to have these feelings in return. 

First impressions matter because they form the foundations of mutual respect and appreciation. 

Great Impressions Always

The good news about making great impressions is that it’s actually not all that hard. There is one vital key that unlocks positive impressions every time: Respect. 

Making a conscious decision to show respect to everyone you meet is a guaranteed way to get nothing but great impressions. You can do this by: 

  • Expressing genuine interest in the person you’re interacting with 
  • Asking questions
  • Answering questions consciously
  • Listening more than you talk  
  • Offering genuine praise to the person you’re speaking to
  • Expressing your appreciation for their time
  • Following through on anything you commit to

As recruiters are going to be one of the primary professional contacts to get you ahead in the world of work, it’s worth offering a few ways that this can apply to us. 

Securing our professional backing for life is as easy as: 

Showing appreciation

When a recruiter first contacts you, be sure to make an effort to show genuine enthusiasm and appreciation for their call (even if you weren’t expecting it). If you aren’t available to talk, let them know in a way that respects the time they have taken to try and reach out. 

Communicating

If you are not interested, have been offered a role or are part of other processes, be sure to inform the recruiter/s you are working with. Remember that they are working behind the scenes to get you an interview or confirm an offer, show them that you appreciate their time; let them know what they are up against and be honest about what your instincts are saying. This helps us to help you. 

When recruiters, or any other person on the planet, feels respected and valued, it makes us 1) remember you, and 2) push harder to help you. 

Harnessing the power to be memorable and someone that everyone wants to help is a skill that will get you far ahead in life. 

Remember this; burnt bridges can seldom be repaired. You never know when you will go in for a job interview where the hiring manager turns out to be a previous colleague you showed no time for, or the recruiter in charge of the process is someone you once ghosted. 

Apply conscious respect to every interaction in your life and watch just how you, your relationships and your life transform.