We all know that famous saying : You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Do you agree with this?

I’ve been recruiting now for several years and have worked in areas where I’ve had to deal with people and make decisions where the impression I got was one of the determining factors.

A good first impression is crucial, whether in person or an e-meet.

Read-on for a few tips on how to make a good first impression with a future potential employer.

Advice for candidates

With LinkedIn and email being the quickest and most efficient way of communicating, its important to guard our email lingo;

o  Always address someone by name.

If you were going to call someone over the phone, would you say what you had to say without greeting the person first and acknowledging him/her? Probably not! Keep this in mind when writing to someone; personalize your message before writing the body of your message.

o  Ensure your message is free of spelling & grammatical mistakes, slang and abbreviations. Keep your audience in mind – if you do not know the person and how he/she perceives these things, wouldn’t you want them to receive your message positively? Things as such could reflect poorly on you, making you seem sloppy and inattentive. We all have spell check on our computers and phones, put it to good use! I have had clients turn away strong candidates due to spelling errors on a CV.

o  Do not use CAPS unless you want to turn off the receiving person! Seriously, I have not met one person, who doesn’t see CAPS as a negative thing.

Think before you respond;

o  What would you say if you were asked, whether you were open to a new job opportunity? Yes, No or Always? …

I can’t count the number of times I hear the words “I’m always looking or am always open” as a response… even when someone literally began a job days ago.

What does this response say about you? Well, a response as such could lead someone in a hiring decision to feel that you are not loyal or difficult to please. Maybe you are difficult to please and are always seeking the best for yourself and deep down, you know you are worth more than what you’re doing, but please – make sure it doesn’t come across this way. Use this one, “I wasn’t looking but I am curious to hear more for reason x” or “I am looking at this point and would like to know what opportunities there are on the market for me”. Ask questions, find out why the company or recruiter thinks you would be a good fit and see if this is all worth a meeting!

o  Its flattering to get a call for a job and normal to get excited, especially when our job search is an active one. But please, before having your CV sent to a company and/or before accepting an interview, think about it first and if you feel you are unsure, do not agree to anything! You don’t want your CV in the hands of anyone and you don’t want to waste time going on interviews with companies or for jobs you are not sincerely into.

o  For those candidates who are not on the market; if being approached by an opportunity by a recruiter or employer, kindly decline in a respectful manner, there is no need to be rude and make the person feel as if they bothered you. You never know when your situation would change, keep an open mind.

Presentation:

o  Do not be late!

Make sure the day your interview is booked, that you have all the details you need to be at the meeting on time and ready. Google Map the location the day before, so you know ahead of time what the traffic and parking situation will be like.

o  Do not cancel an interview on the same day.

I’m someone who takes importance in keeping my word. If you committed to an interview, be there! Even if you feel you lost interest, go and explore, you never know what can come out of it. Do all you can to keep your word and show consideration for the time the interviewer set aside for your meeting. And if you did have a change of heart, be honest about it – don’t use those typical excuses because it will make you look worse.

o  Dress appropriately and professionally; do not be overly casual or wear something that can draw the wrong kind of attention.

o  Do not bring a coffee with you to your interview and please put your cell phone on silent, in your pocket or bag, so that you can give the interviewer your full attention.

o  Do keep good eye contact and show them you are happy to be there!

Lastly, a piece of advice for the Employer; do everything in your power to BEST represent the company. Give the candidate the time he/she deserves to be able to express themselves and treat the meeting as an opportunity to get to know a potential future employee.

Nadia