How to Make a Great First Impression

How to make a great first impression? Easy image consulting tips from Amsterdam-based image consultant Jenni at I on Image

How To Make A Great First Impression?

This blog will help you to make a great first impression. Profit from easy to implement image consulting tips + Grab your FREE checklist at the end of this article.

Most of these tips apply also in online situations.

Photo credits: Kristina Petrick and Jealous Weekends at Unsplash.

Science Of First Impressions

I find the whole science of first impressions so fascinating. When a person meets you for the first time their brain makes several snap decisions about you in just 7 seconds.

Actually it takes only a tenth of a second to decide if the person is trustworthy but as long as 30 seconds to make judgements of a persons attractiveness and intelligence.

However a myriad of other decisions are made within 7 seconds, such as judgements about your age, competence, education level, lifestyle, income, social class, to mention a few.

Latest studies have shown that we can work our way out of a bad first impression but, as it is with so many other things, it takes a lot more energy and time than just to make it right the first time.

I made this collection of tips that will help you take your personal brand on a next level that exudes confidence and professionalism.

Tips To Improve Your Image On The Spot

1. Be Nice

Smile. People who smile appear more likeable and trustworthy than their poker-faced or grumpy counterparts. Don’t over-do it though. No grinning and no awkward or deranged smiles, please.

Make it all about the other person. Ask questions and let people tell about themselves. Remember that life rarely is about you.

Polish your communication skills and make this your priority. Improve your communication skills with these simple image consulting tips.

People will remember how you made them feel. Kindness is a deeply underrated form of art. Work on your listening skills to perfect this. I can guarantee that it will make you more likeable!

2. Be Professional

Be mindful about your body language. Keep a good posture and resist the urge to cross your arms or legs. Keep your hands visible, unless you want people to think that you have something to hide.

Offer a firm handshake. Make it last about 3-4 seconds because you want to engage with people without appearing creepy. At this point you have already made a first impression and people have not even heard you speak yet!

Use clear and professional language online and in face-to-face situations. Stick to the point and respect other people’s time.

Avoid using fillers such as um, ah and like in your speech. They show immaturity and hesitation. Emojis in your writing will make you more likeable but use them sparingly. Overusing them or getting way too personal might work in your disadvantage.

Get to know people in advance through social media. They will be doing the same so make sure that you too are making a good first impression throughout your social media. Work on your digital presence with these easy to implement image consulting tips for a stellar online you.

3. Look The Part

Dress for the part. People have expectations and your job is to deliver. Looking frumpy, dirty or un-kept is rude and unprofessional. Your appearance will take you a long way, even if you don’t want to admit it.

Maintain good personal hygiene. I can’t stress enough the importance of this! There is simply no excuse to neglect your personal hygiene in any possible situation.

Don’t be afraid to use personal styling services to take your style to the next level. The most successful people in the world are open about their challenges and they know when to hire help.

Your personal style is no exception and I am always here for you. My virtual styling services are available around the world with flexible times. Many happy clients have discovered and unleashed their signature style with me. Are you next?

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4. Don’t Be Creepy

Maintain normal eye contact throughout the conversation but under no circumstances stare at people. Losing eye contact mid-conversation implies that the other person is making you bored or that you have something more important in your mind.

Avoid at all cost sizing up people from head to toe, peeking at cleavages, or letting your mind wander while looking at someone. It’s creepy, rude and condescending.

Allow people to have their personal space. In general people feel uncomfortable when someone in breathing down their neck or being too close.

Be aware of your nervous tics such as drumming, scratching yourself, clicking your knuckles, playing with your hair etc. They make you appear awkward and uncomfortable, which may make other people feel uncomfortable too.

5. Don’t Be Rude

Learn to control your facial expressions. Avoid squinting your eyes, wrinkling your nose and keep your mouth closed when you are not talking.

Use confident, friendly and positive language. Don’t put people on the spot and solve conflicts privately. Remain professional in difficult situations.

Treat everyone with the same respect you’d like yourself to be treated with. This applies to interns, receptionists, cleaners, delivery personnel, hospitality staff and maintenance.

Have an upbeat attitude in general. Don’t drag your feet or bother other people with your problems. Nobody’s life is perfect and you never know what the other person is going through.

Let your energy and zest for life be contagious!

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Let me know how I can help you make a great first impression. I would love to help you to put your best foot forward!

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This article was originally published on 6th February 2018 and updated on 8th Ocotber 2020 with a better structure.

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33 thoughts on “How to Make a Great First Impression

  1. I on Image says:

    Thank you for sharing your thought Ming! Indeed smile is a great way to make a connection and to check how the other person is responding to your presence.

  2. Ming Qian says:

    I find smiling one of the easiest and most effective ways to get a stranger to warm up to me. A smile hides all the apprehension and nervousness I feel inside. Thanks for sharing these other tips as well! 🙂

  3. I on Image says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning my blog! I really appreciate it and I enjoyed reading your blog too. – Jenni at I on Image

  4. I on Image says:

    Lol, not that explicit but the small things that make your skin crawl but don’t qualify yet as sexual harassment or stalking.

  5. I on Image says:

    Hahaha, there’s a big difference between social and creepy. Sadly every single woman who I know, can tell that difference from personal experience 🙁

  6. The Phat Girl Blog says:

    Don’t be creepy? …. but that’s all the tricks in my basket. Bahaha. Jk I’m just extremely “social”. At least that’s how my doctor describes me :-p

  7. I on Image says:

    It’s quote something indeed. But I advice my clients not be limited by this knowledge. There are so many layers of our image and personality and finding your tribe takes time and effort anyway. Main thing is to be aware of it and to try to use it in your advantage -without compromising your authenticity.

  8. glowsteady says:

    That figure about making a snap judgement in 7 seconds always blows my mind. So quick! I totally agree that you should always try to be professional and look well presented. It’s a tough one when we all perceive things slightly differently though x

    Sophie

  9. I on Image says:

    Glad to hear that this inspired you Lisa! Sure go ahead and link my post to yours. Drop your link here when it’s ready so everyone here can see it in case the pingback doesn’t come through immediately. Have a great weekend!

  10. Lisa says:

    Amazing post! And don’t be creepy made me chuckle haha. Would you mind if I link to your article in an article of my own? It’ll be published in about 2 weeks.

  11. Nancy says:

    I love all of these tips on giving a great first impression. It is so important to be nice and professional. I’ve gotten a bad first impression because someone wasn’t professional. That was tough to break! I agree on not being rude either. Thanks for sharing all of these points!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  12. I on Image says:

    I know Lisa! The temptation to jump over the line is right there before our eyes and we might not be in the strongest mindset right now either. Hope this guide helps people to manage their image better even during a crisis.

  13. Lisa's Notebook says:

    Great tips, Jenni, so helpful. I know we’re all social distancing now anyway, but the issue of personal space is one that I don’t think can be overstated! 🙂 xx

  14. Quinn of the Nerds says:

    All these things are so important. One thing I love is when people are just themselves, I know it sounds like such a common sense thing! I’ve had many an occasion where another person has said certain things because they think it’s something I want to hear, instead of just being natural. Let the real you shine through always :-).

    Thank you for another lovely blog!

    Quinn x

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