David Valks Podcast, Candidates
Why is it important to make a good first impression?
When applying for that dream job you want to stand out from the crowd because hiring managers often will be receiving many applications. If you get invited and shortlisted for an interview, you really want to make a great first and lasting impression!
Admin/reception are not the ones making the decision but the chances are, the impression you leave with them, will rub off onto others and build a great reputation for yourself as a candidate. This is from a recruiters view point but it’s not different if you are going direct.
We share information internally, then externally with our clients. You want a positive image to be associated with you.
What are the most important things to rememeber if you want to make a good first impression?
- Be polite and courteous – not aggressive or rude
- Smile – this really resonates, even on the phone – they can feel it
- Do your homework and know who you are talking to
- Know the role you are applying for
- Speak clearly and confidently
There are different ways of making a great first impression: through the phone, resume, email and face-to-face meetings.
On the phone...
- Introduce yourself
- Be polite, courteous and conversational
- Be clear about what you want and give context
- Treat every person you are talking to like they are the hiring manager – don’t assume they are junior or don’t matter
- We know it can be frustrating looking for work but you have to treat every call like it’s your first
- Be patient – we don’t always know the back story but will do our best to help with what info we have
- Try to find a quiet spot – prepare for the call
- If you have put effort into applying, you should put as much effort into the call
With your resume...
- Refer back to our first episode about CV hints and tips
- Be clear. Remember that emails can be quite flat and we can’t get a feel for your personality
- Remember to use a greeting in your email
- Tell us what you want in the body of your email
- If you are applying for specific role, know who you are addressing the email to. The consultant’s name should be on the advertisement
- Keep it warm, brief and concise
- Tell us why you are right for the position
- Make sure your attachments are good to go and not too big
- Email can often be a proxy for the cover letter and more likely to get read than a cover letter
- Very good opportunity to capture the attention of the hiring manager or the consultant. There are a lot of emails coming every day – sell yourself well!
- Don’t write war and peace – people are time poor these days – less is usually more
- Dress appropriately for the job that you want. Not always about being corporate
- Make sure that your dress reflects your level and brand. How you are dressed will make an impact on what people think of you
- Arrive on time – take a breath before you come in. It’s your responsibility to get there on time. Don’t come too early either!
- Handshake – still amazingly important – rapport, connection – makes a big difference
- Come through the doors with confidence and a smile
- Remember to introduce yourself
- Be open-minded about what options are put your way
- Be nice to everybody and be kind and courteous
- Find a connection with who you are meeting – small talk
- Be prepared – portfolio, copy of resume, hard drive, laptop etc.
- Remember to smile, your body language can have a first and lasting impression!