3 ways you can make a good impression when job hunting

Looking for your first real job can be an overwhelming experience.

You have to shift your thinking from assignments and exams to landing that hotly contested gig. With more people looking for jobs each year, the need to make a good first impression is greater than ever. But impressions are no longer limited to the first time you meet someone. If Google has taught us anything, it’s that the world is finely attuned to every move we make and everything we say, something that every HR manager knows all too well.

Thankfully, there are some ways you can ensure the impression you make is the best it can be.


Keep your CV on point

The days of sneaking through the cracks with a bogus CV are long gone. Savvy recruiters can spot inconsistencies and fake achievements a mile away. While you may not have the experience a seasoned pro does, there are always things you can add that will make your CV shine. Your CV isn’t a record of what you’ve done, more how well you’ve done it, so focus on your achievements and the particular things you did and the skills it took to do them. If you have achieved a target, say so. If you’ve received praise or an award for your work, say so. And of course, make sure there are no spelling, grammar or formatting errors.


Cover your social media footprint

Whether you like it or not, your social media profiles are considered an extension of your resume. Virtually every recruiter or manager will scour the web for your online footprint, making it extremely important to have a professional presence on the internet.

It’s easier than ever these days to sniff out a lie, so make sure your profiles on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or whatever else you’re using sync with what you’re you saying on your CV. What you put up on your profiles is just as important. The pages you like, the comments you make, even the people you are linked to are a reflection of you and will come under consideration by recruiters. Avoid putting up anything political, inflammatory or offensive and if you have in the past, take them down. 


Dress for success

It’s probably one of the most overused phrases in job-hunting, but also one of the most underutilised by job-seekers: dress for success. Remember, first impressions are critical — that first meeting you have, whether it’s a formal interview or an informal chat, will leave a mark in their mind. You could have the best CV in the world and be the most talented candidate ever, but if you turn up to a meeting looking like you just rolled off the couch after a Netflix marathon, that’s what they’ll remember. 

So what should you wear? Generally, dressing conservatively is the safest option, but a little research can go a long way. Fitting in to an organisation’s culture is just as important as your abilities so try to find out about their dress code by giving them a call — are they formal, semi-formal, smart-casual? Clothes aside, wear minimal jewellery, clean your teeth, tone down the perfume or cologne, make sure your hair or facial hair is well groomed, and never, ever have gum or mints in your mouth. 

Remember, that first impression, both face-to-face and online, is the most important one you can make and a good one will go a long way to getting you the job you want.

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