Eight Tips for Making a GREAT First Impression
Personal Business Skills Articles
Submit Articles Back to Articles
As a professional or business owner, you know people make a snap judgment
about you in the first 30 seconds they meet you. No, it's not necessarily fair
to judge a book by its cover, but it is the reality. Below are some tried and
true simple things you can do to ensure your professional image works for you
and not against you: 1 - Neatness counts! Make sure your clothes are neat and
tidy, have all their buttons, and don't have stains. Ensure your clothes are
pressed so it doesn't appear as though you've just rolled out of bed.
2 - Shop Fit NOT Size Even the most expensive clothes can create a poor first
impression if they don't fit properly. The average person should have 2 - 3
different sizes in their closet at any one time. No, I'm not talking about your
"fat" or "thin" clothes. Each manufacturer cuts their garments differently than
the next. Expensive designers also use the trick of cutting their clothes bigger
so that the average sized person wears a smaller size in their garment. Make
certain to purchase clothes that don't pull at the pants pockets or around the
waistline. If you are petite, expect to have most of your pants and jacket
sleeves altered. It's worth the investment!
3 - Designers Not Necessary It isn't necessary to wear all designer duds to
look make a great impression. A moderately priced suit in a wool or gabardine
blend can look "expensive" if properly accessorized. Grow your wardrobe by
choosing key classic pieces. Men, put your money into your ties. A less
expensive suit with a more expensive, sharp tie looks great. Ladies, invest in a
year-round weight suit or separates for easy mix and match. Refined fabrics are
best. Skip the machine washable suits! Pair your suit with a great broach or
scarf to show off your personality.
4 - These Boots Are Made For More Than Walking There's nothing worse than
seeing a sharply dressed professional and then getting to the bottom of the look
to see tattered shoes. Guys shine 'em and make sure your belts match. Ladies,
make sure your shoes are in good repair and replace the heels (or the shoes) if
needed, don't walk around on nails. It's unattractive AND dangerous (I know!).
The other area many women miss is hosiery. You want to wear hose that are the
same color value or darker than your skirt and shoes. A good rule to follow is 2
of the 3 (hemline, hose, and shoes) need to match. That said; don't walk out the
door wearing a red skirt, nude hose and black shoes.
5 - Business Casual Doesn't Equal Sloppy Today many businesses have adopted a
"Business Casual" dress code. If you are meeting clients at their site, you
don't want to be too over dressed or look sloppy. A sharp pantsuit for the
ladies or dress pants with a casual shirt and blazer for men are great choices.
If you are meeting in an even more casual environment (on the golf course
perhaps) make sure your pants are crisply pressed and you have on a shirt with a
collar. A belt and nice casual shoes (vs. tennis shoes) help pull the outfit
together for a more "finished look".
6 - The Eyes Have It! When a person looks you in the eyes you can tell
they're sincere. That's why it's important that you make it easy for your
clients to look YOU in the eyes. Don't wear loud patterns or overpowering colors.
Choose colors and shades that best compliment your skin tone. If you're not sure
what those are, find a professional who can help you (contact me if you need a
good referral). Everything you wear should help bring the attention to your
face, not draw people towards looking at your belt buckle or chunky necklace.
7 - Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow Hair trends come and go and if you are a hair
stylist, your style should reflect that. Otherwise, choose a style that
compliments your face shape and fits into your lifestyle. If you are a guy who
is "folically challenged", whatever you do DON'T comb it over. Embrace your
extra forehead and the fact that many guys willingly shave their heads as a
fashion statement. You're in and don't even know it. Men also need to be weary
of excess facial hair and the unibrow. While there is a lot of talk about "metrosexuals"
and men looking too feminine, no one wants to look at a caterpillar above your
eyes. Find a salon (yes I said a salon) and have your brows "cleaned up". You
won't walk out with pencil shaped brows looking like a woman, I promise you. The
same goes for you ladies. Keep your brows neat as well.
8 - Lastly, Let Your Personality Show We are all unique individuals. Let that
show through your style. Don't dress like a conservative accountant if you are
the Managing Director of a dance troupe. It's important to look professional,
but you also need to "look the part".
About the Author
Victoria is a professionally trained and certified Business and Personal
Coach. She helps ambitious working parents grow their business, live Guilt-Free, reclaim
time and energy, and accomplish what really matters. After working with her,
clients feel they have greater balance in their life, excel in their business
and, most importantly, have more time for themselves and their families.
Her website is
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-07-09 22:27:35 in Personal Articles