How do you make a great first impression?

Making a good first impression is very important as it reveals only a small part of who you are, or what you’re like but it will represent everything new contacts know about you.

Here are some tips that can help you be memorable and make a fantastic first impression from the get-go:


Be on time. Plan ahead, arrive a few minutes early, check traffic updates and parking facilities. Someone who’s meeting you for the first time will not be interested in the quality of your excuses for being late.


A key to a good first impression is to present yourself appropriately. Choose the dress code according to the situation. There are a few things you should consider… like:

  • What type of meeting or encounter is it?
  • What´s the person you are meeting is likely to wear?
  • Are your clothes tidy, and is your hair, beard or nails (or all three!) well groomed?


The ideal handshake is one that conveys an open, friendly attitude, while sending a message of confidence, importance, and interest. People do in fact form impressions based on the quality of your handshake, and those impressions actually reflect certain elements of your personality. A poor handshake speaks volumes about your confidence level and personality. Your handshake should be firm, quick and confident, but not overpowering.


Research shows that smiling is associated with extraversion, confidence, likeability, and mental stability. These sound like attributes most companies would want in an employee, right? Ever been around someone who just had something fantastic happen to him or her? Isn’t it almost impossible not to feel happy too? Smiling will make people like you better and remember you. So choose to smile!

Eye contact

This is the best way to make connection with people.  It has to be just the right amount, too much eye contact is can be perceived to be rude, hostile and condescending, whereas too little can make you appear anxious, unprepared, and dishonest. The appropriate amount of eye contact will make people remember you for the right reasons.


Remember the names of people you meet, especially in interviews or similar situations. “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie – author of best selling book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

It is the one way we can easily get someone’s attention. It is a sign of courtesy and a way of recognising them. When someone remembers our name after meeting us, we feel respected and more important, leaving a positive and lasting impression on us. To not remember a name, especially when someone has had to repeat it several times, can offend some and leave them with a bad first impression.


First impressions are nearly impossible to reverse, and the importance of making those first encounters a positive experience can’t be overstated. So make your first impressions make you memorable for the right reasons….Good luck!


Two business men shaking hands at international business meeting.

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About the Author

Soledad Salazar