5 Big Reasons your First Impressions aren’t working …even if you think they are!


I’m sure you are already aware of how important first impressions are. But you may not be aware that the “first impression” is actually only a seven second window of the initial meeting.

This means that when it comes to an interviewing situation, you need to act quickly in order to make a memorable first impression. To get hired and remembered, here are five big reasons why your first impressions may not be working even if you thought you did a great job.

Does your appearance match expectations?

Of course you may not know what the visual expectations are when you first meet someone. If you are interviewing for a position, you should have a visual in your mind of what type of clothes the person wears in the job that you are applying for. For example; an account manager position, you will meet clients in person. Make sure to dress professional which could include a matching two piece outfit or a dress and blazer. Just make sure to look professional since you will be the front face and represent the company.

“When you look good, you feel good.” This has always been my motto and it’s true. You will automatically walk taller, look confident, comfortable and happy.

Appearances really matter in first impressions. This is the first information someone has about you – and plays a bigger role in the first meeting than they do in later meetings.

Dress the part and project professional presence. Employers are seeking staff that have a sense of poise, confidence and are competent. Make sure you wear a touch of color, for example, a black matching outfit with a red blouse. Red symbolizes a subtle influence of power.

What is your style? This matters too. A person can usually figure out by the clothes your wear if you have a serious, fun, traditional or progressive look. Your style tells an “instant story” about you. So it’s important to make sure you project your story the way you want it to be told. You are your own walking billboard.

It’s important to point out that you don’t have to be good-looking to look good. Beauty is nice, but confidence is what matters. I was once hired based on the confidence that I projected in the interview. My boss said that she wished she had my confidence and was impressed by it and knew that I could do the job.

When you look good, you will feel good and project a positive image that shows your style, poise and comfort in your own skin.

Are you present?

Walk tall, maintain eye contact, smile and present a firm handshake.

Relax and get in the flow of what’s going on in the room. Don’t think about the next question you are going to ask. The interviewer will be able to tell if you’re thinking about it and it shows on your face.

Stay in the moment and listen intently with eye contact. This gives the interviewer the indication that you are in the moment of the conversation and interested. Focus on what’s being said and at times you can use the same information in your answers. The person is giving you information about the position, including who is the ideal candidate for the job. So really listen. During my years of interviewing for jobs, I found I was able to use the same information that the interviewer gave me. By making eye contact and nodding toward them, it makes them feel at ease and more comfortable with you.

Don’t forget to smile. A smile represents that you are happy, positive and approachable. This is an invitation to the interviewer to make contact.

The handshake impacts your initial impression and should be firm and complete the grip, but not too heavy that the person’s hand is hurting. The firm handshake is seen as more confident and assertive.

Do you project the right energy?

What type of energy are you presenting when you meet people in person?

Even if you are a calm person, you must show that you still have it – your energy that is. Your energy includes how much you talk, how fast and how loud. You can still have a calming nature, but be involved in conversations for new ideas and thinking. Competition is fierce and employers are trying to keep up and think of faster and new ways of working.

When talking to people, “lean in” or forward. This shows your interest and energy as well.

Show how you are not stuck in your ways and able to adapt to changing ways by giving examples of working in an environment where you had to adapt quickly to a change. Show how flexible you are. If you’ve worked in more than one company, that’s a good thing these days and shows your resilience.

Did you connect with the interviewer?

People are comfortable working with someone who has similar interests, lifestyle or know some of the same people. I knew a past employee of the company that I interviewed with and the interviewer was very fond of her. I also commented on my potential boss’ picture of her grand-daughter hanging on the wall and she was so excited that I noticed. She proceeded to talk another 5 minutes about her. Of course, she couldn’t ask me any questions about my family since that is illegal, but openly giving her some personal information about me having a daughter helped us connect. She immediately felt we had similar interests due to having children.

You can also look around the room and find any pictures that you can comment about to generate a conversation and connection. Show interest in the interviewer as a person, since people like to talk about themselves and want to work with someone who they feel they connect with.

Did you prove your worth without mentioning money?

Always have prepared questions to ask the interviewer, team and hiring manager, but one the most important things to do is to bring any documents to the interview that supports your accomplishments.

For example, if the position requires you to create a new process, then bring the document that highlights where you did that at another company. Be prepared to leave it with the company and remove any confidential information.

Prove why you are the most qualified and Get Hired!

So I ask, are your First Impressions working for you?


Find out how to get noticed and identify your First Impressions personal style and brand. Learn how they impact your professional success and sign up for my 11-page workbook @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com

New Year’s Resolutions for your Career or Business: Do’s and Don’ts





The problem with New Year’s Resolutions

The nature of the word “resolution” refers to solving or fixing something. That’s the major downside of New Year’s resolutions; they come from a negative place of feeling “not good enough”, making us wish to fix ourselves in order to be perfect and that’s not a very motivating place to be. And because of this, the initial adrenalin rush from setting resolutions gets replaced by our lack of motivation and soon becomes a forgotten notion.

We don’t need to be fixed, we need to grow.

We, as humans, are not broken, and we don’t need fixing. However, we are driven by fulfillment and we need to experience a life of meaning. Sell-fulfillment is achieved when we satisfy our need to continuously grow and our need to meaningfully contribute to the world. At times, we get so busy with our daily routine that we forget how important it is to fulfill our need to grow.

This year, instead of subjecting yourself to fail on your resolutions again, let’s go with a new approach. While you’re reading this, mark today as an opportunity to set new habits and behaviors and to continue to pursue them consistently.

Here are my tips on what to do and what not to do this year to help you reach your professional goals.



Take a stock of where you currently are in your professional career path and where you want to be. If you’re past your 50s, you could be in a wide range of places in your career. The great thing is, you’ve already got a lot of experience behind you but there’s also a long way to go. Figure out what you want next.

As hard as it might be, the trick is to sit down and be real with yourself.

Do: Clearly define your goals.

Research shows that a lot of people fail to reach their goals because they don’t set definitive ones. Instead of ambiguous ones such as “grow in my field” or “get better at my job”, set specific objectives. It could be “I want to take the lead on 5 projects this year” or “I want to be promoted to Marketing Director by the end of the year”.

Don’t: Set unrealistic expectations.

Don’t overburden yourself by setting too many goals. Pick one or two specific areas that you want to improve on and work at them. This will ensure you stay focused and you aren’t wearing yourself too thin.



You might be one of those individuals who love their current jobs and aren’t looking for a major change. If that’s the case, it’s time to figure out how you can grow at your company and get the most out of your job.

Do: Work harder to meet the demands of your job

Practice your skill more. Find out what you can do to drastically improve the quality of your work. No matter how educated or how long you’ve been in a profession, there’s always more to learn.

Don’t: Let the fear of uncertainty or rejection stop you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility on projects if you’re confident you can handle it. Or those great ideas you’ve been afraid to share at team meetings. Speak up, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Do: Earn more respect at your office

Take notice of the professional habits of senior leaders you look up to. Dress well and be on time. Try to procrastinate less and use your hours at work more wisely. Having a great work ethic always goes a long way.

Don’t: Indulge in work place gossip

Office gossip and drama is a normal part of every workplace culture. Though you can’t avoid it, you can do your best to stay away from it. Be friendly and helpful to your coworkers but always keep a professional demeanor.



If you’re looking for a new job or a change in career, here’s what you need to focus on this year:

Do: Strengthen your personal brand

A well drafted cover letter and updated resume is key, but having a strong online presence is also a determining factor in today’s hiring process. Make sure your social media profiles are free from embarrassing pictures and content you don’t want your employers finding. Join industry groups online, follow trends and share resourceful articles on your profile. It might be unfamiliar territory, but step out of your comfort zone and establish yourself online.

Don’t: Forget to keep up with technology

Make a conscious consistent effort to stay in tune with the latest technology. There are classes online to help with this. Whether its social media or software updates in your field, you need good technical skills to make advances in your career. Don’t be the person that looks lost when it comes to tech and loses an opportunity to someone younger because you’re afraid of a smartphone.

Do: Build your network

Having a strong network in the industry can be a game changer when it comes to securing a job. Build a strong network of contacts on LinkedIn. Stay in touch with friends and family members that have made great advances in their profession and strengthen your relationship with them. Attend networking events, start conversations with new contacts and grab every opportunity of meeting new people.



Are you happy at your current job but unsure about what your next steps should be? Are you confused about switching a career this late in the game or starting your own business? We all grow through professional cross roads at some point in our lives.

While you’re on the fence about it, here’s what you can do to help steer you in the right way.

Do: Update your resume

Make sure it includes all your achievements and projects over the past year. Highlight new skills you’ve acquired. Consistently keep your resume updated.

Don’t: Forget lessons learned

Look back on everything you’ve learned so far and stay in tune with it. Whether it’s a new skill you’ve learned or something regarding your profession, make sure you practice and stay on top of it.

Do: Get a mentor

If you’re confused about which direction your career is headed, get help. No matter what your age, it’s never too late to get a mentor or a life coach. Find someone with experience that can help guide you.

Don’t: Be afraid of change

Sometimes we get stuck in our comfort zones and are scared to change. Don’t be stuck and don’t settle. As familiar as your current situation is, there’s always more waiting for you, if you want it.

Do: Be prepared for new opportunities

Even if you’re not currently looking to switch, you never know when an irresistible opportunity might come along. Always be proactive with your efforts. Continue to learn and build your skills and grow your network.


A good way to help you stay consistent is to remind yourself that investing time and energy towards improving your skills and career is an investment in yourself and your future.


Want to find out how your style and brand impact your professional success? Sign up for my 11-page self assessment work- book that will help you stand out and get noticed, without ever saying a word @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com.