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First Impression: Do they matter?

First Impression

How to Make a Good First Impression?

First impressions matter. While future interactions can correct impressions or add information, the first impression sticks. When someone meets for the first time, they will remember if how you made them feel and if you meant their expectations. Memorable people often exceed expectation or sorely miss the mark. Our minds tend to remember lousy experiences or exceptional ones. In addition to remembering how they felt around someone new, people will remember what the saw. Appearance can set the stage for a new relationship.
How you look is the first form of communication we use when meeting someone. Rightly or wrongly, how brains make assumptions based on appearance. While some assumptions related to appearances, such as age or gender, are out of our control, dressing in a way that presents our best self can go along way.
Today’s work world offers more flexible expectations related to dress. There’s no longer a specific uniform for an office environment. It’ possible to find clothing and accessories that help us communicate our personality while maintaining a professional appearance. Here are some tips for putting your best foot forward when meeting new people.
Dress appropriately for the setting. Each profession has expectations related to dress. Business casual, which includes slack and a button-down shirt or sweater, and also skirts and dresses for women, is a typical workplace uniform. Depending on the setting more formal or informal attire might be appropriate. If you are unsure about expectations, ask a colleague or a friend who can give you the scoop on dress expectations. If you don’t have access to good intel, dressing a bit more formal (short of a ball gown and tuxedo) is a safe choice. Also be wear of cultural expectations. Dressing more modestly may be more appropriate based on regional or other expectations.
Find clothes that make you feel comfortable. We live in a world where there is a great diversity of clothing options. It’s possible to dress appropriately and be comfortable. Wearing clothes that fit well and make you feel good will help you be more confident. If heels have never been your thing, find some flats or wedges that are professional. Wearing clothes that make us feel uncomfortable can impact our ability to make a positive impression. If we’re tugging at our clothes, or not able to stand and walk, people may remember us negatively.
Present a neat appearance. Clothing is not the only thing to think about when considering your appearance. Presenting with neat hair and nails, and good hygiene is very important too. Having a neat appearance doesn’t require spending money on manicures or fancy haircuts. As long as you have spent some time taking care of hygiene related issues, you should look presentable and approachable when meeting new people.