Friday, June 17, 2011

7 Ways NOT to Make a First Impression

In most aspects of life, first impressions are everything.  This is especially true when it comes to finding a nonprofit job.  You will have to make a first impression that will last if you are going to stand out amongst all the other qualified candidates.  So how do you do it?  Well I hate to be negative, but most of what you can do will come from avoiding things you shouldn't.  With that in mind, here are the 7 things you should avoid when trying to make a good first impression:

  1. Shave before interviews.  Even if you are deadset in trying to grow a beard, it's a good idea to look well groomed. 
  2. It seems like a no-brainer, but you have to shower before going on an interview.  Nothing is more certain to make a bad impression than body odor.
  3. You should dress to impress, but don't overdo it.  You don't want to seem like you are trying too hard.  I would suggest doing some research on the dress code of the company, and wear that type of clothing to the interview.
  4. Look over your resume and cover letter multiple times before sending it over.  You should also have someone else look it over as well.  If there is one surefire way to make a bad impression, it's obvious typos or grammatical errors.
  5. Avoid too many "uhs" when you speak.  This is probably the hardest thing to avoid.  Frankly, it's almost impossible not too utter these.  They have become an accepted part of our language.  Just try not to do it too much.
  6. It's better to be early than late, but don't be too early.  This doesn't mean you can't arrive in the town of the interview super early.  You should just not go into the building until there is 5-10 minutes left before the interview.  This again creates the impression that you are overeager.
  7. Be respectful.  Let the interviewer finish whatever they are saying before you say your part. 

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