From the moment you walk into a room or meeting, other people are sizing you up based on how you’ve presented yourself. They’re making snap judgments based on your overall look, personal style, and attitude to deduce what kind of person you are, so you want to be certain that you’re sending the right message. To get started, here are my favorite go-to tips to make a great professional first impression:
Tip #1: Rock a winning attitude.
Your attitude is a core component of a great first impression in both your personal and professional lives. Research shows that other people are most attracted to individuals who are happy, confident, and relaxed, so focus on exuding those characteristics whenever you need to make a great impression.
Tip #2: Cultivate a unique personal style.
Think about your lifestyle and the clothes that you can see yourself wearing to all your various activities, events, and meetings. Flip through magazines and take note of which colors, trends, and accessories catch your eye. Once you have an idea of what you’re attracted to style-wise, try to categorize your look as bohemian, girl-next-door, classic, romantic, edgy, trendy, or something else entirely. Also remember that there’s a fundamental difference between fashion and style. Fashion is something that changes from season to season, while your personal style will last forever. By purchasing clothes based on style rather than fashion or fleeting trends, you’ll grow a wardrobe that will last you much longer than a season or two.
Tip #3: Make sure your clothes reflect your goals.
You already know that your clothes tell the story of YOU, so it only makes sense that they also reflect who you hope to become. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to attract higher-income clients, you can’t show up to a networking event wearing your mom clothes! To know how to dress, look at the people you want to attract, work with, or be like, and strive to either match or up level their style. For example, if the female clients you’re trying to attract all wear Armani dresses and heels, I recommend investing in some Armani dresses and heels to show them that you can play on their level.
A final note…
In addition to rocking a winning attitude and cultivating a unique personal style, you want to feel 100% confident in whatever you wear, at all times. Don’t force yourself to wear an outfit that doesn’t make you feel good, because other people will pick up on your discomfort, and it will affect their impression of you.