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

5 Ways Boomers Can Show Their Bosses They’ve Still Got Pep in Their Step!

Boomer TipsFor Boomers, the workplace like they used to know has changed. Competition is fierce and can even be quite scary. In the past, seniority and experience played a major part in who stays and who leaves the workplace. Now it’s all about who can produce the most, be flexible and change at a moment’s notice without any back talk.

With the ever changing workforce, Boomers are still working and not retiring as early as in the past. According to a Gallup survey, almost 8 in 10 of the youngest Baby Boomers (50-51) are working full-time, part-time or seeking work, a figure which declines to roughly one-third among the generation’s oldest (67-68).

Boomers are also working with or reporting to a Generation X or Y which is challenging. Sometimes they feel too old or out of of touch with what is going on.

Based on my experience with interviewing and after having discussions and interactions with Generation X’ers and Millennials, I have some insight to share.

Here are 5 tips for Boomers to show their bosses that they’ve still got it and have the pep in their step to do the job.

Make Sure Your Technology Skills Are Up-to-date

Keep your computer skills up-to-date and if you are feeling challenged, ask your kids or grandkids or even take a class. Try not to ask anyone at work if you can help it, or else you may get the reputation of not being up-to-date with your computer skills.

I once worked with someone who was making $50 an hour more than I did and everyone in the office knew it. She did not even know how to turn on the computer or attach a document to an email. Everyone was upset because she was making more money and eventually no one wanted to help her. The feeling was that since she was making so much money she should have known basic computer skills. Needless to say, she didn’t last very long at the company when bosses found out she was computer illiterate which was causing disruption in the office.

Show Your Energy

There is a myth that older workers have low energy since they have gone through many work experiences and have seen it all.

Raise your enthusiasm and show that you are excited and willing to learn. Keep yourself refreshed, revitalized and happy to roll up your sleeves to participate in projects. Your motivation to succeed will project itself and boost your chances of getting ahead.

Be Engaged and Interested

Show that you are interested in others’ points of view. Listen intently and demonstrate eye contact, lean in and use short words such as, “Got it!” Stay attentive to what is going on around you and engage yourself in conversations.

Be Flexible and Adapt to Change

Sometimes things don’t go as planned at work or in life. Meetings are changed at the drop of a hat or run over time. Show you are flexible and can go with the flow. With speed as the driving force in most organizations today, not everything will run on schedule. Don’t get flustered when things change. Show that you are adaptable.

Open Up To Generational Differences

There will be times when your boss may be younger and/or less experienced than you. Stay open to receiving direction from someone younger even though you may have more experience and knowledge. There is still something to learn from the relationship. Connect and engage and find something you both have in common.

I have been in meetings where my new boss introduced a book or idea that I learned about years ago while I was at another company. Just listen, accept ideas and don’t go overboard stating that you knew about the same idea or learned about something before.

Click reply. In what ways do you still have pep in your step either at your job or in your daily life? Are you utilizing any of the tips above? Join the conversation.

 

To your success,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

5 Ways to Discover Your Skills and Start a New Career After 50

Skills After 50The first phase in preparing for a job interview is to gain a better understanding of your own interests and single out what you bring to the table. This is a critical first step.

You will be surprised how many opportunities you will have to showcase your unique skills during the interview. These skills will help you to get hired. Thinking about this ahead of time will help you present a confident attitude and image.

Skills are simply the things you learn and do that enable you to perform certain tasks. By knowing your skills, you will also be able to communicate them to others when you do things like compose your resume, consider a job opening and interview for a job. Later, this is helpful when you create your performance goals with your supervisor, ask for a raise, apply for a promotion or even change careers

There are five ways to identify your career skills that will make you stand out.

Make a List of Your Past and Current Jobs

Make a complete list of all your positions including the company name, title and years worked for each position. This is the same information that you typically list on your resume, in chronological order.

Jot Down the Tasks Associated with Each Job

A task is simply your job duties or responsibilities that you carry out and get paid for. Describe, in detail, everything you did in each job. This will help you in the next section with what you accomplished while performing each task.

List Accomplishments

What were your biggest accomplishments with those tasks? Look at each task and describe any accomplishments that had an impact on the department or organization. What was the problem, the result and how did you improve the situation in any way? This is an accomplishment.

Identify Your Strengths and Passion by Answering These Important Questions

First, what are your three greatest strengths? What do you enjoy doing? What skills do you use regularly? What activities do you do that make you feel strong? What do you find easy to do that others find difficult? Finally, what do you naturally find yourself wanting to spend time doing?

Compare To The Top 10 Skills

Once you identify your skills, strengths and passions, it’s good to know if you are in alignment with what employers are looking for. Here are 10 skills that most employers want.

Verbal Communication: Ability to verbally express your ideas clearly, concisely, and confidently.

Teamwork: Ability to work cohesively within a group.

Initiative and Self-motivation: Ability to act on initiative, identify opportunities and practice in putting forward ideas and solutions.

Written communication: Ability to express yourself clearly in writing.

Internet Communication: Ability to communicate on the Internet, including sending emails.

Flexibility: Adaptability to changing situations and priorities.

Problem Solving: Ability to gather information, establish facts and problem solve.

Drive: Determination to get things done, make things happen and look for ways to make things better.

Planning and Organizing: Ability to plan activities and carry them out.

Time Management: Ability to manage time, prioritize tasks and meet deadlines.

Now that you have identified your skills, you are able to create your own skills checklist. You will never be in doubt again about who you are, and you will specifically present and communicate your unique skills – with confidence – to help you prepare for that interview and get hired!

What skills and strengths make you unique? In doing this exercise, did you discover that you had any new or overlooked skills? Why do you think you are a good candidate for a job in your 50’s? Please join the conversation.

To your success,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Is Your Personal Brand Working for You?

 

YourBrandHave you ever thought about how people perceive you? What does your reputation stand for? How do you want to be seen? How do you know when you make a memorable impression on people?

These days, everything you do in the public impacts your brand and your professional success. If you are interested in seeking a new job, being promoted, or making a sale for your business, make sure you are being perceived the way you want.

I remember interviewing for a job. I withdrew since I did not want to spend extra time working after hours, and it wasn’t a good fit for me. Two months later, I received a call from the same Vice President who interviewed me. He said that another position was available, and he wanted to know if I was interested. He said he was impressed with me when we had met previously, and he never forgot me.

So how did I leave a memorable impression? It was based on the following three things:

  • My brand was aligned with the way I wanted people to perceive me. My skills and knowledge in the Human Resources field were valuable to the organization and department. They could see my professionalism and that I was customer-service oriented. They needed all of these factors for the position.
  • I made a connection with the interviewer. This means they saw me as a good fit with the culture. They trusted me, and we were able to build a relationship. These factors are also critical in the position.
  • When I withdrew from the position the first time, I made sure to send a nice thank you note within 24 hours and wished them well with the search. They noticed my follow-up skills and integrity.

All of these factors left a memorable first impression on the interviewers; and in turn, I received a job that was a better fit for me through the “Hidden Job Market”. This means the job was never posted, and I had no competition. This is the ideal way to land a job.

I ask you – is your personal brand leaving the memorable first impression with people you want it to? If so, what three things help your brand leave a great impression? If not, how do you start building your brand? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Jump Into Spring: 3 Ways to Boost Your Style!

spring colors

It is imperative to maintain an up-to-date look with your appearance, especially if you’re still working, job hunting, speaking in front of groups, or making pitches.

I’ve worked with hiring managers who did not select people due to how they looked. They said they looked old and outdated with their hairstyle or clothing, and sometimes called them “frumpy”. The candidate may have had the skills to do the job, but unable to show that they would “fit in” with the department by maintaining a professional look.

Let me be clear, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to freshen up your wardrobe! You can make a big difference with a small adjustment like adding an accessory or a new color, or even by choosing a current hairstyle, in order to keep your look fresh!

Check out these ideas to boost your style for Spring.

Add color to your wardrobe

You’ll be surprised at how wearing color can change your mood, boost your well-being and make you feel more confident.

Try adding one of the new season colors to your wardrobe. They include teal, dark pink (almost a hot pink), blush (off white with a hint of pink), mustard (yellow), and orange.

Florals and prints are a big trend this year, as well as wearing florals with florals, and mixing florals and prints together. I prefer to wear florals and solids together so it doesn’t feel like you can see me coming! But find what looks good on you, and what you feel good wearing. Try stepping out of the box and mix florals and solids, or prints and solids. Or jump into the trend of wearing prints and florals together. There are even floral sneakers that are all the rave.

Whatever you do, add something different to your wardrobe with a splash of color like a yellow or blue handbag. You will see how it pops a bit of color into your outfit as well as how it makes you feel better.

Create new outfits from your closet

First, pull clothes out of your closet that you no longer wear. Keep pieces that are functional and work for your specific needs.

When creating outfits, be conscious of when you will wear them–weekend wear, work, running errands, client meetings or a night on the town.

Start with basic pieces. For instance, a pair of jeans go great with a colorful top and jacket. See how many tops, blouses and jackets you can mix together to make different outfits! If you have flowing, button-up, tunic, or plain white blouses, mix and match them with diffferent pants for a variety of outfits!

Skirts or dresses for the season are great to have as basics in your closet as well. Dresses are so easy and comfortable. It’s only one piece, and all you need is a layering jacket or sweater. See how many outfits you can create in this category. Make sure to coordinate colors and try a floral, leopard or print dress. You might be amazed at how good it looks on you.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize

You’ll be surprised how one accessory added to an outfit can make you look up-to-date. The trend for accessories this year is bold, flashy, bright and modern. I do recommend you stay within your own style unless you want to try something different. My style is classic, traditional with a hint of bold, so I feel comfortable with adding a piece of bold jewelry to an outfit.

Shoes are popping up in flashy silver and metallic hues, and the peep-toe is making a come back.

Oversized and dramatic sunglasses are a big trend, but make sure to find the right shape for your face.

Statement jewelry is all the rave. Chokers are back in style and should be chunky and oversized. Also try adding long and oversized earrings. And large necklaces from gems to feathers are dressing up necklines.

How do you plan to boost your style this spring? Is there a new color you plan to add to your wardrobe? Join the conversation and leave your comments below.

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Get Hired After 60: 7 Tips to Make a Fabulous First Impression

Get Hired

It takes just seven seconds.

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

This means that when it comes to an interviewing situation, you need to act quickly to make a fabulous first impression. To get remembered and hired, here are seven tips for those first seven seconds and how to keep that positive impression going during the interview.

Look Good

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

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 in later ones.

Dress the part and project a professional presence. Employers are seeking people who exude a sense of poise, confidence and competence. Be sure to wear a touch of color – for example a black matching outfit with a red blouse. Red symbolizes confidence and power.

What is your style? This matters, too. A person can usually figure out by your clothes 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 to 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 was very impressed and wished she had my confidence. As a result, she felt confident 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.

Be Present

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

Stay in the moment and listen to the interviewer intently with eye contact. This gives the interviewer the indication that you are focused on the conversation and interested. Focus on what’s being said.

At times, you can use the same information in your answers. Usually the person is giving you information about the position, along with what kind of person they are looking for to fill the role. Making eye contact and nodding makes the interviewer feel 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 eye contact.

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

Show Your Energy and Ability to Adapt to Change

Employers really do want to hire older workers, but are concerned about their energy level and ability to change focus at a moment’s notice.

Even though at this age we are much calmer than when we were younger, 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 always trying to keep up and think of faster and more innovative ways of doing things. Be involved. When speaking to people, “lean in” or forward. This shows your interest and energy as well.

Employers are also under the impression that we are stuck in our ways and don’t want to change. Show how flexible you are. If you’ve worked for more than one company, that’s a good thing nowadays and shows how resilient you are.

Have a Conversation, Not an Interview

Forget the word interview and think of the time being spent with the interviewer as a conversation. This creates an entirely different mindset. Get to know the interviewer and show interest in what the person is saying.

The interviewer is trying to determine if you are the right “fit” for the position and the company. Yes, your skills are important, but it’s evident that you have the skills because you passed the phone interview. Employers want to make sure you will be able to get along with the immediate team and staff at the company. Do you fit in? Do they feel comfortable with you? Do they like you? This is why having a conversation and getting to know people is important.

Make a Connection 

People are comfortable working with someone who has similar interests, lifestyle or who knows some of the same people. For example, I knew a past employee of a company I interviewed with and the interviewer was very fond of her. I also commented on my potential boss’s picture of her granddaughter, and she was so excited that I noticed it hanging on the wall. She proceeded to talk another five minutes about her.

Of course, she couldn’t ask me any questions about my family since that is illegal, but by openly giving her some personal information about my own daughter, she immediately felt we had similar interests with our 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 with whom they feel they can connect.

Prove Your Worth without Mentioning Salary

Always have prepared questions to ask the interviewer, team and hiring manager. Also, a very important thing to do is to bring any supporting documents to the interview that showcase your accomplishments.

For example, if the position requires you to create a new process, bring the document where you performed that process 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!

How about you? What tips have you used to make a fabulous first impression for an interview? How have you taken steps to improve your first impression during the interview? Please join the conversation.

 

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

New York Fashion Week 2016 – The 6 Best Street Style Trends from New York Fashion Week

Which of these 6 styles is your favorite?

New York Fashion week kicks off a month of Fashion Shows that will take place in London, Milan and Paris, but the first week in the Big Apple (New York) is the most exciting.

But not all the action is happening on the runways; in fact, looking to the style on the streets can be an even greater indicator of where trends will be at for the next season in real time, on women in the street.

Fur Vest

fashion-week-fur-vest

Print Dress
fashion-week-print

 

Side Zipper Skirt, Print Dress & Pant

fashion-week-dresses

 

Monochronmatic looks

fashion-week-mono

Military Coat

fashion-week-military-coat

Leopard Dress

fashion-week-lepord-outfit

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE STYLE?