First impressions count, and they can be the difference between landing your dream job and heading back to the starting blocks. There are a few things you can do to create a better first impression, including better eye contact, a winning smile, and using authentic communication.
Eye contact is very important when making a good first impression, but so is the right balance of eye contact. Think about the eye contact you make with a pet dog, too much of it indicates aggression, and you might get a loud bark; not enough, and it turns and walks away from you.
Use the 60/40 rule for eye contact. Sixty percent of the time, you are looking at someone in the eyes; this indicates you are paying attention to them, and you have confidence and positive self-regard. The forty percent looking away indicates you are non-aggressive and not staring.
There’s a reason Hollywood actors and successful business people have such excellent smiles; they understand that smiling makes a strong first impression and says a lot about their overall attitude. If you want to make the best first impression, it’s sensible to work on a winning smile.
If your teeth are a little crooked, don’t worry, there is an effective way to straighten them up without any inconvenience or impact on your success levels. Talk to your dentist about clear aligners which make your teeth perfectly straight without having to wear unsightly braces.
Dress to Impress
Choosing the most appropriate outfit for an occasion makes a big difference to the impression you make and the outcome of the interactions. For instance, if you dress too casually for a job interview, you might give the impression that you aren’t serious enough about the job anyway.
If you are going for a job interview, it makes sense to stay of the formal side, even overdressing a little is better than the alternative. When choosing an outfit, think about the context of the occasion and what would be appropriate. An outfit also affects how you are going to feel.
Authenticity is also crucial to making a strong first impression. Beware, it’s easy to get anxious about how you should act and what you should say during particular interactions; of course, there are certain guidelines to follow but use them for inspiration rather than absolute rules.
Being authentic means being yourself, so you need to do a little bit of introspection and reflection before you can make the best first impression. The good news is this work helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses better and supports you in all walks of life.
As with eye contact, communication is important, but you need to find the right balance. If you can develop strong listening skills, you can make a good impression, but don’t be too quiet. Try to talk around one-third of the time you listen and use body language to show that you are open to other people and ready to engage with the present situation constructively.