First things first: Your guide to a good first impression

It’s not news to anyone that we form our opinions of people within the first few moments of meeting them. This is why first impressions are so important to relationships. Whether it be for a job interview or meeting peers for a group project, the way you present yourself plays a role in how other people treat you. Be conscious of your attitude, social media presence, and appearance in order to allow people to better understand who you are as a person.

Attitude. We all have our “bad days” but don’t let your bad day get worse by missing the opportunity to make a good impression. When meeting someone new, try to put the other obstacles aside and focus on the new relationship. Try to learn as much as you can about the other person, which sometimes means putting your own opinions and objections to the side. This allows you to understand the other person and how your relationship will function. Be positive and encouraging by showing open body language. Crossing your arms and looking away are two ways that you tell a person you are not interested in hearing what they have to say, so, keep your arms open or at your sides if you are standing, and be sure to look at them when they are talking. If you are meeting peers for a group project, the same applies. Be open, and take responsibility. Don’t be the one to automatically delegate, but also don’t be the one to sit aside and ignore everyone’s insight.

Social Media. You can make a good (or bad!) impression BEFORE you even meet someone for the first time. Creeping on people’s social media profiles – we all do it. Even employers! Therefore, be sure to keep your social media profile clean and proper. Post the things you are passionate about, without getting too risqué or inappropriate. Social media is a way for people to get to know you, so keep that in mind when setting up your profile. Ask yourself this: “when someone looks at my profile, are they getting the right message?”

Appearance. In a career workshop on my campus, the director told us when meeting someone new, they most commonly look at three things: your clothes, mouth, and nails. What does that mean to us? Smile. Other people look at your mouth to see your emotional reaction. Be conscious of how pearly your whites are, and try to smile because smiling is contagious. As for nails, I would think to keep them trimmed and clean would be essential. At the workshop, they told females to make sure if they have nail polish it’s an “all or nothing” sort of thing. If it’s chipped, it’s coming off. Lastly, we should be more conscious of the message we are sending with our choice of attire. Even if you’re not going for a job interview, if you want the other person to get the right impression of you, consider how you present yourself. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with the business casual look; it helps ensure you will be taken seriously no matter what the circumstance is.

Meeting someone new is nothing to fear. Whether it be for a job interview, blind date, or group project, it’s important that the other person (or people) gets the right image of you. That means starting even before you meet by keeping your social media clean and current. When it actually comes time to meet the other person, have a good, positive attitude and be conscious of your appearance. Now you’re on your way to making a great first impression!

While these are three broad things to considered, there are several others to know that are helpful in making a good impression. Have a tip? Share below!

jessica-albright-thumb-150x150Jessica is a junior at Missouri State University majoring in Marketing with a minor in International Management. She will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in December 2016, and is accepted to an accelerated Masters of Business Administration program to complete her MBA the following year. Jessica is member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society,  Ad Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Fraternity.