First impressions can be formed in seconds. Impressions created in such a small amount of time can persist and influence major decisions. This seems to be simply the way the human brain works, whether or not it is convenient or even effective. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware that first impressions are vital — and to leverage that fact to one’s advantage. During the recruitment process, candidates should make every effort to give outstanding initial impressions. From sending a résumé to the first day on the job, every detail can matter immensely.
Most job seekers understand the essentials of creating a résumé. It should, above all, be easy to read and free of any errors. Once that is accomplished, however, there are ways to make a résumé stand out. Contact information should be clearly visible in a header rather than buried in type of the same size as the rest of the text. Important information must be set off by bolding, italics or formatting. Finally, a résumé does not need to include every detail of every position a job seeker has ever held — a summary of relevant points will work much better than a laundry list.
Interviews can be a nerve-wracking event for candidates. For most, it is the part of the recruitment process that brings them face-to-face with talent acquisition staff. For this reason, there is a lot to manage in giving a good first impression at an interview. It is necessary to dress well, pay close attention to personal hygiene, maintain professional body language and answer questions confidently — all at the same time. It may be useful for nervous or new job seekers to practice with trusted and experienced friends. Even seasoned candidates should ensure they look and feel their best prior to an interview.
The First Day
Being hired for a new position is always exciting. However, there are many hurdles to clear before a new employee can begin to relax into his or her role. The first day on the job may be the greatest of these. Just as in the interview, new employees should ensure they dress well and project an air of confidence. It is important to express gratitude and attentiveness for any training or introductions that take place. It is also advisable to speak much less than one listens. This will give the favorable impression of someone who is willing to learn from those with more experience.