Making a Positive First Impression

March 8, 2019

Killer resume. Check.

Awesome cover letters. Check.

Stellar job with applications. Check.

Interviews secured. Check.

Positive first impression?

There’s an old saying that you don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. When it comes to the job search process, you could readily lose an opportunity to advance to an offer of employment by not putting your best foot forward.

Staff at The Work Place in Grande Prairie can guide eligible unemployed or underemployed clients (visit for details) on how to shine in their quest to find a job.

They can also assist you with your job search tools and ensure you’re using all the resources available to you, including accessing potential training opportunities (see contact details below). Your strategies may include updating or acquiring new skills.

Job search expert Sarah Johnston’s article on LinkedIn and the ensuing comments provide some great insight into the difference a first impression can make:

“It’s not overly dramatic to say your destiny hangs on the impression you make”– Barbara Walters

“Citing a trove of studies, Malcolm Gladwell contends in Blink that our first impressions are fairly accurate and stand the test of time. He’s a proponent of a theory called thin-slicing, which states that we make a pretty accurate assessment of a person based on knowing them for only a few seconds,” Kristi Hedges, Forbes, Sept. 5, 2014 –

How can you make a better first impression – especially when job searching?

✔ Confidence and self-empowerment can all start with your diligence to your attire and personal grooming.

It’s easy when you are job searching to wear comfortable clothes (yoga pants) or adopt the no-shave mentality – but personal presentation is important for both mood and personal branding.

✔ Put your own needs aside and show a genuine interest in the other person. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you have not read the classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, it is an absolute must read.

Sarah asked her followers to add their advice:

Maureen McCann, Executive Career Strategist, responded: “My tip is this: don’t force it. Be yourself. It sounds a bit cliché, but it’s easy to spot someone faking it vs. someone genuinely interested. A great piece of advice I received from a colleague at a conference last year was this: “If you can’t be interesting, be interested.”

Certified Resume Writer Candace Barr wrote: “I think it’s imperative to smile and listen. People like to talk about themselves, so ask questions and get to know them better. When the time is right, take their cues to turn the conversation towards you.”

Adrienne Tom, Executive Resume Writer, wrote: “People tend to analyze themselves (look, talk, act) a lot when thinking about impressions and often forget to just be friendly, genuine, and caring. Good ole kindness and human connection can go a long way in this world. Most of us can tell when someone is truly present and engaged and when things are being forced.”

Agile Coach Brad Nelson offered: “A successful career is about managing expectations. I ask the recruiter what the expected attire for the interview would be. Most interviews you wouldn’t show up to in jeans but I’ve had ones where if you didn’t they’d assume you weren’t a culture fit. My best advice is don’t make assumptions, just ask. I find if you ask for what they’re looking for, genuinely listen and show interest in what they’re saying, then respond with how you can fulfill their needs, you’ll be successful.”

Brand Strategist Kevin D Turner added:  “In this digital age, that first impression might be what decision makers see, feel and hear about you on the Internet.

“LinkedIn is one of the most popular places for decision-makers to look first before entertaining a meeting or making a personal connection and its one of the few places that we have control of our personal brand image. It amazes, maybe even frustrates, me that so often I see LinkedIn profiles with unprofessional profile photos, misspellings, conflicting info, confusing messaging and bad social behavior on display on this critical business networking platform.”

If you want more help with your job search at no cost, contact us at 780-539-5477. You can send enquiries to Our office is located at #105, 9840-97th Ave., Grande Prairie.

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