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Five ways to make a great first impression


It is said that you only have one chance to make a great first impression and that the first impression lasts a long time. Even with this knowledge, many people still fail to make a great first impression and destroy their chances for a productive business relationship. Whether it’s a job interview, meeting new clients for the first time or representing your company/organization, it is imperative to know how to put your best foot forward to open the doors of opportunity.{{more}}

First impressions become dreadful when we fail to pay attention to seemingly minor things like the following:

1. Dress appropriately. Before a word is spoken, you are judged by your physical appearance. Make sure your outfit is clean and neat. Common mistakes in this area tend to be frayed clothing, torn hosiery, clothing that’s too big, too tight or inappropriate for the occasion.

2. Check basic hygiene. Bad body odour and bad breath are the primary offenders. Always carry breath mints, check your body odour, and avoid applying too much cologne or perfume.

3. Guard your mouth. Nothing is more irritating than a person who feels the need to dominate a conversation in an attempt to appear intelligent. Spend more time listening and observing. When it’s time to speak, keep the conversation positive, uplifting, and complimentary. Avoid criticism.

4. Smile. Too often the power of a smile is underestimated. A smile creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that will build excellent rapport with almost anyone.

5. Pack your confidence. It’s almost always obvious when someone feels unsure of who they are and their abilities. Take a few moments every day to develop your self-confidence and remind yourself of the things you do well and of your accomplishments. Never compare yourself to others and their achievements, as this only serves to lower your feelings of self-worth.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to

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