People make a very quick decision about you when you first meet – probably in the first 3 seconds. Their view will be based on your appearance, your expression, your body language, your mannerisms and how you are dressed. Once that impression is formed it will be very difficult to change it. Here are some tips to help you make the right impression

Don’t be late

“Good excuses” for being late for a first meeting or an interview don’t usually work – a view will already be formed. Plan to arrive a few minutes early. Plan your route – you don’t want to get lost! Allow for possible delays in traffic etc..

Arrive early but not very!

Arriving early a few minutes early is great –  it gives you time to calm your nerves and  the opportunity to prepare for the meeting.  But arriving very early is not a good idea – it can embarrass the person you are meeting – a few minutes early is the best plan.

Be yourself – try to relax

If you are feeling uncomfortable and on edge, this can make the other person ill at ease.  That creates tension and a wrong impression. Try to be calm and confident – or at least act as if you are. Quite often acting confident leads to you feeling confident! This puts the other person at ease. There is a relaxation technique on this site.

Dress appropriately and present yourself well

What is the appropriate dress for the meeting or occasion? In a business setting, it is usual even today to wear a suit! But this is not true of all companies particularly for example in the Arts and Media! Ask yourself what the person you’ll be meeting is likely to wear? If you not sure try for a company brochure on line and see if you can judge from that what kind of environment its likely to be! Dress varies between countries and cultures, so it’s good to do your home work. Above all do be clean and tidy – apart from anything else it will help you to be confident!


It is important to show who you are! But you do need to give the impression you will fit in. If you are serious about wanting to make a good impression then keep your strong views to yourself until you know the person a little better. The same goes for emotion – a first encounter is not the time to wear your heart on your sleeve – keep it balanced. Having said that, do show the person who you are! Do have opinions when they are asked for – don’t be bland – but keep it appropriate to the occasion!

Smile, just smile!

“Smile and the world smiles too.” is just so true! Smiling (not grinning like a Cheshire cat of course) makes the very best impression. A warm and confident smile makes both of you feel at ease. It gives an impression of interest in the other person. But make it genuine. Be pleased to meet this new contact – who knows what it may lead to. But do mix expressions during the encounter – smiling inanely through-out will not make a good impression. You can look interested and engaged while looking serious – once the first impression is established!

Be Open

Body language speaks volumes –use yours to project self assurance and honesty. Stand tall, make eye contact and have a firm handshake. Be aware of your own nervous habits and try to control them –relaxation and a few deep breaths while you are waiting to meeting them will help! We  all get nervous but you can learn to control it. Be attentive and listen carefully – it will show in your posture and its flattering to the other person.

Your questions

Conversations are based on verbal give and take. It may useful to prepare some questions for the person you are meeting for the first time beforehand. If you can, take a few minutes to learn something about the person you meet for the first time before you get together. Social media e g LinkedIn is great for that. Find out more about the company for a job interview.

Be Positive

Project a positive attitude, even in a difficult interview or if you are nervous. Keep it up beat and try to learn something from your meeting and to contribute appropriately. Even if its not a success you will have learned something about the process if you are observant.

Be Courteous

Good manners and being polite, attentive and courteous help make a good first impression. Now is the time to be on your best behavior! In a different culture find out what good manners are locally and try to follow them – your host will appreciate the effort. Turn off your mobile phone for all significant first encounters, if you can, and certainly for business meetings – you are going to concentrate on the other person.

With these few tips and practice, you can learn to make a brilliant first impression. Make it one of your key competences and learn to enjoy meeting new people even in challenging situations. If you have other ideas – it would be great to hear them.


We can all quote examples of people lying on CVs and we generally take a degree of exageration for granted.  But for some reason we seem to take social media on trust!  We are wrong!  I for one have come across a profile on LinkedIn for someone I had worked with briefly  – he claimed a much longer experience at a much more senior level.  The silly thing was,  he had asked me to be a connection – at least he didn’t ask for a reference! Anyway here is an interesting blog post on the subject



Courtesy of About.Com:Job Search

Networking is one of the most important components of job searching. Use these top social and professional networking sites to enhance your career and boost your job search, and learn how to use social networking sites to job search.

How to use the full power of LinkedIn to job search, including effectively using your connections and utilizing all the information available on LinkedIn when you’re applying for jobs.

If you’re using Facebook for professional networking, and more people are every day, here are tips on the best way to use Facebook when you’re job searching.

Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service utilising instant messaging, SMS or a web interface. Twitter is open ended and people and companies use it in a variety of ways, including to job search.

MySpace is a social networking website offering users the opportunity to connect through personal profiles, blogs, groups and other features.

Ning is an online service to create, customize, and share a social network. Users have used Ning to create online social networks about lots of subjects, including jobs and the job search.

Doostang is an invite-only community, founded by a Stanford MBA and an MIT engineer, that connects young professionals to career opportunities through social networking.

How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search
Most people know that the best way to find a job is through networking. You can go to networking meetings, tap into your own personal network, or ask friends who they know. With the Internet buzzing with social media, there are similarly many ways to use social media in order to network, and eventually find a job.

How to Create a Professional Brand
How to create a professional brand using social networking sites and how to build a strategic online presence to help with your job searching and career building.

More Career / Social Networking Resources
Career and social networking online resources. Where to network online as part of your job search and how to use a social network to help land a job.

Job Search Networking

Career NeworkingJob Search NetworkingOnline Career Networking

New posts to the Job Searching forums:
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Social Networking Sites – Top Social Media Sites for Job Searching.


Most people feel a loss of confidence when they lose a job. It’s not just about losing the income but also an image of you. Many place a value of themselves based on their work. For many of us work is the place where we spend the majority of our waking life. It’s often where we find our friends and make our major achievements. So when we lose a job we lose part of ourselves and we grieve for it.

But you can get over it – just like any grief. You are much more than your job and your real friends and family value you for much more than your salary even when they are dependent upon it.
But here are some particular areas you may need to address

Understand why it happened

If you have been made redundant then remember it’s not personal – you were just unlucky and you are part of a very large and growing club. If you lost your job for other reasons then make sure you understand why and learn from it – change something about you to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In both situations, now is about going forward, not dwelling on the past.

Money Worries
You feel bad about the loss of income. But there is help – make it a project to find out all the sources of financial support available to you. There is guidance on this in other posts on this site for people in the UK. Take time to understand what you can get and then get out there and get it.

Feeling Alone

You have lost the contacts you had at work. Now you need to work on your own network. Get out the old address book; look up your email contacts and those on your mobile phone. Find people on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Friends Reunited etc. Pick up the contacts and find out what people are doing. It will give you company but also it might just give you a lead to the next job. Meet up – have a coffee with them if you can’t afford lunch – many people prefer that these days anyway. Tell them you are interested in new opportunities – don’t dwell on why you lost the last job – that is in the past now!

Lifestyle Changes

Living with less money may mean changes in lifestyle for all the family. Not so many meals out and subscriptions to clubs etc. Make the changes carefully, particularly if they affect your children – plan and prioritize just like you would at work. Hopefully it’s not going to be for very long. If you can’t eat out then become more creative about eating at home. Now is the time for long country walks perhaps rather than paying for theme parks. There are lots of free events around if you look for them – again use the involuntary spare time to find them.

Self Blame

We all do it but it doesn’t actually get us anywhere. Blaming yourself doesn’t change the past. But you can change the future. Leave the past to itself – it’s only useful if you can use it to learn from. If you lost you job because you lacked a skill, then it’s worth working on gaining it. Otherwise leave it alone and make the future your project. Get up each day determined to go one step forward even if it is only working on your exercise plan.

Last but not least

Don’t be hard on your self. You are one amongst thousands. You may not have a job but my word do you have a project and that is you.

Coping with redundancy | Leaving a Job Advice – Monster.co.uk

Coping with redundancy

The Career Guru – Monster UK

The days when you could land a job after leaving school or university and keep it until you chose to move on are long gone. Even in traditionally ‘safe’ industries like banking or the Civil Service, redundancy has become a fact of life as organisations are forced to change to keep pace with market pressures.

But why me?

Don’t take it personally. Redundancy is a numbers game – reducing overheads and cutting positions which have been judged expendable for a variety of reasons.

You may have seen it coming and take the final redundancy notice as a kind of relief from the uncertainty. However it happens, it’s likely that you will feel angry, betrayed and possibly a bit desperate. These are all perfectly natural emotions but, as ever, it’s how you respond that matters.

Link to follow

Looking for work in the UK – help that might be available

Looking for work

Find out more about specific benefits and services

* If you are looking for work there are around 400,000 jobs available online today at Job Search – follow the link below

* If you are not working or working less than 16 hours a week:

check Jobseeker’s Allowance

* If you are a lone parent and want to move off benefit into work or just want help finding work:

check New Deal for Lone Parents

* If you get a disability or health-related benefit:

check New Deal for Disabled People

* If you are the partner of someone looking for work:

check New Deal for Partners of Unemployed People

* If you are aged 50 or over and looking for work:

check New Deal for people aged 50 plus

* If you are aged 25 or over and need help looking for work:

check New Deal for people aged 25 plus

* If you are aged 18 or over but under 25 and need help looking for work:

check New Deal for Young People

Links to all the above are at  DWP – Working age – Looking for work.

How Social media can speed up your job search – blogs

This is from  Wall-McLaughlin Recruiting & Staffing – JobWall Blog.

A prominent blogger recently proclaimed that any professional who considers himself to be a top performer in his field has a blog. So if you don’t have a blog, you must not be a top performer. With more and more employers buying into that statement, the establishment and maintenance of a blog is becoming as important a part of the job search process as is having a clean resume or nailing your interviews. By establishing and maintaining a blog you:

– Set yourself apart from other job seekers

– Show your expertise in a niche field

– Show you are keeping up with the times and are able to display your understanding of the happenings in your industry

– Establish yourself as a source of information, not just a name on paper

– Attract others with the same interests as you, allowing you to grow your professional network

So now that you’ve established a blog, what are the key dos and don’ts to ensure your blog will help you land that dream job?

More at  Wall-McLaughlin Recruiting & Staffing – JobWall Blog.

Working With Recruitment Agencies

Working With Recruitment Agencies

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – order on Amazon

Working with recruitment agencies – these days most job searchers sign up with several recruitment agencies. There are all kinds of agencies. They range from large companies that work nationally, and some internationally, across many sectors to small niche agencies that specialize in particular sectors or particular geographical areas. It is a good idea to make contact with a number – you can find lots of them on-line. 

A good recruitment agency will keep you up to-date with what is going on in the job market and help you prepare for any opportunity they offer you. Many agencies will have a mix of permanent and interim/contract roles. Register with the agencies with whom you feel comfortable. Make sure they are keeping you up to date with their vacancies. 

Working with recruitment agencies – don’t be naive

Most recruitment agencies do a good job for employers and job seekers. But don’t be naive and forget that the employer is the real client. Nevertheless it is in the agency’s interest to help you succeed and you should expect courtesy. With the best you will get real support. However many recruit young graduates who are bright but probably know less than you do about the recruitment and very little about the employers’ real needs.

Be aware that because so many people are looking for work, people without real expertise have started recruitment companies and on-line job sites. Even well qualified and experienced recruiters may be overwhelmed with numbers. Large agencies may mean less of a personal touch but small agencies can find themselves without the resources to cope with responses to popular jobs. Always ask lots of questions about what they offer and check friends and relatives for recommendations. 

If you can, develop and keep up a real relationship with recruiters but recognize that pressures on them can lead to what appears to be an uncaring attitude. It is up to you help them to help you; nobody cares more than you do about your job search. 

Other resources for the job seeker

As a job seeker, there are lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.

job search networking
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help job search. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link