First Impressions and the Job Search

We all know first impressions are important. Fairly or not, we all pretty much make up our minds about people within the first few minutes after we’ve met them. Very rarely, we might change our impression over time, but typically the initial evaluation stands. It’s nearly impossible to change someone’s mind after they’ve formed an opinion about you.

It’s no different when you’re searching for work. How successful you’ll be as a candidate has

to do with first impressions.

What kind of immediate impression does your resume make?

You’ve got a matter of seconds to capture the hiring manager’s attention when he’s picking up your resume for the first time. Are you confident that yours is strong enough to guarantee a closer read?

Likewise, how well do you handle the first few minutes of interviews?

The hiring manager will form an impression of you during the first few seconds of your encounter – probably before you even sit down. Even more important: the vast majority of the time, the person interviewing will make a decision regarding your candidacy within the first 10 minutes of the conversation.

Of course, the conversion will continue, likely for some time, after that. If he’s already made up his mind, though, what’s the purpose of the rest of the conversation? He’s using his time to validate that assessment.  10 minutes, and your fate is sealed.

Kind of puts the whole conversation in a different light, doesn’t it? Not to add to the pressure, but you absolutely have to hit a slam dunk in those first few minutes. You have a great deal of control over what kind of impression you make. Are you confident you know what to do to make it a favorable one?