1st Impressions, do they matter? Tracey at Career Matters gives the low down

Tell us about your Business Tracey and how first impressions impact interview success in a competitive work culture?

My business Career Matters helps young adults make confident career choices; I am trying to change the way that careers are chosen, using powerful personality profiles and personalised 1:1 coaching with the young adult and their parents. Knowledge is power and the better the young adult knows him/herself, the better decisions they can make about best fit careers. We all know that when you are doing work you are passionate about and know where you can make a difference in the world of work, your confidence and energy contribute to your impact in interviews. So adding to this with an appropriate wardrobe and 'look' that conveys your personality helps set you apart from other job candidates.

This ensemble is perfectly suited for this Gentleman's role as Manager at WORLD Fashion boutique. Street Fashion captured for Metropol Magazine.

How important are first impressions In your eyes?

These are soooo important in the job application process - studies show that employers take about 6 seconds to form an opinion on your curriculum vitae, and about the same to decide whether your 'look' and presence at an interview is worth further exploration. So it pays to take the time to get it right.

Do many of your clients understand the true impact of a first impression?

I think most of my clients want to make a good first impression, but miss the small details - clean shoes, interview practice, checking the right dress 'style' for the interview, following up with a thank you email, maintaining eye contact, good body language, clean fingernails. Putting some effort into the details sets you apart from others as REALLY wanting the job.

Little details don't go unnoticed and can set you apart from other job applicants. Choice of footware and colour and state of your nail polish, can impact your 'perceived' respect for the industry you want to be apart of. Take care to consider whether casual clothing like denim is appropriate - In most cases it isn't acceptable for the interview. If in doubt, better to overdress very smart than underdress. It sends a subconscious message that you really care about the role, the company and have done all due diligence.

What are the top essential mannerisms and 'soft skills' that could be used during an interview, that add to a lasting first impression and are great for building rapport with an interviewer, enhancing the job seekers success in securing their dream role?

Key things I recommend are being friendly, professional and courteous to everyone along the path of your job application - the recruiter, the receptionist where you arrive for an interview, the interview panel etc - you never know who has input into the selection process. Make sure you arrive ahead of time, be organised (phone off, notepad and CV copy ready) and be alert and ready to greet those around you. And to really make an impression, balance listening with talking, ask good questions and don't denigrate anyone or any organisation.

Do you have any stories of a client who made a lasting impact on you? What really created this impression?

When I am working with young adults, helping them apply for their first role is a huge learning curve and daunting, so seeing their transformation into a confident young professional is always rewarding. One University student I worked with recently had difficulty recognising his skills and abilities, preferring to stand back as a natural introvert and let his work speak for itself. By identifying suitable careers for him and packaging his skills in a way that he could be proud, this encouraged him to buy his first suit, seek an internship and put himself 'out there' with a LinkedIn profile! He is now managing the job application process himself, moving confidently forward and taking control of his career, rather than hoping a job would pop up in front of him. My job is done as I am no longer needed by him!!

Manager Pete at Colombus & Ware Merivale, can happily assist with buying a first suit!

Amelia was transitioning from being a Tradie-chick on the tools to a Project Management role in an office, she enlisted Holley Ebony Styling to help her with her new corporate wardrobe.

You can find out more about Tracey from Career Matters HERE. Tracey is one of Holley Ebony's Key Business Partners. Tracey provides invaluable career insights to clients, equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in a career best suited to their unique skillset. Holley Ebony Styling then assists with the outer packaging, educating clients how to dress like they already belong in the Industry they want to work in, suggesting professional clothing styles suited to their unique physiology, to make the best possible first and enduring impression!

To learn more about Career matters, go to www.careermatters.co.nz

Or find them on Facebook.

Holley Ebony Styling xx

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