A professional introduction is a significant factor in establishing a positive first impression, critical for those seeking to advance in their careers. Although it is completely under our control, we often find ourselves on auto pilot; unconscious behaviour based on old habits, which may work for some but most individuals should be concentrating on the extra effort necessary to initiate a practiced and polished, professional introduction. Old habits are hard to break and without many years of experience introducing yourself in a professional environment, you may regret relying on your instincts.
Looking good is also critical to a professional introduction. If you’re not sure about your attire, ask for advice. If they’re not sure, buy a new suit! Practice at home in front of a mirror or even better, a video camera, concentrating on eye contact until you have a well rehearsed, clearly articulated, introductory message. Don’t wing it! You may not have realized that up until now, 50% of your vocabulary consisted of “eh?” Give careful consideration to your handshake and practice it. That may sound as ridiculous as advising those submitting a resume to include contact details but more often than not, it is the most basic of protocols and information that are given little attention or consideration leading to easily avoidable mistakes and lost opportunities. Many people do not provide a professional handshake with the majority offering a less than firm handshake, which is usually perceived as a lack of confidence. And then there are those whose handshake is far too firm, especially when the recipient is donning a ring! OUCH!!!
Your investment in a professional introduction will contribute to establishing a memorable and confident first impression. Follow these five tips to look good, feel good and sound good:
- Attractive, clean and pressed attire
- Eye contact
- Confident but considerate handshake
- Practiced and polished verbal introduction
- Ask how you can help
How do you create a professional introduction when submitting your resume? Accompany your resume with a professional and personalized cover letter!