“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”
You have landed that great internship, which you hope will set you on the road to your career in fashion buying or planning, and it’s important that you get things off to a flying start. So how do you ensure that you make a great first impression?
- Don’t be late
- Tardiness is not an endearing quality. Plan your route and even do your route from home to the workplace at the same time of day, prior to your first day. Aim to arrive about 15 minutes early, you can always walk around the block a couple of times or grab a coffee if you are super early, but DO.NOT.BE.LATE!
- Appearances matter
- Of course, your hair should be clean and tidy, your breath fresh and your shoes polished and remember to put on your deodorant, in fact, you are going to be a bit more nervous than usual, so take some with you and re-apply it if necessary. Wear business appropriate clothes. Their dress code may say casual, but that probably doesn’t mean board shorts and singlets if you are a bloke, or if you are female, low cut tops and short shorts that show your bum cheeks! And whatever you do, don’t turn up smelling of booze and fags because you had a ‘big night’ last night.
- Be friendly
- Smile, shake people’s hands firmly and make eye contact. Nothing creates a worse first impression than a surly person, a limp handshake or someone who looks over a person’s shoulder or at the ground. If you are not comfortable shaking hands, practice with a friend and get them to give you feedback. It may feel odd at first, but you will benefit from the practice.
- Take notes
- Make sure that you have a notebook and pen (or pens) and that you actively listen. Take notes of any instructions and be respectful. Remember, that training you is something the other person is doing on top of their usual role. If you are unclear about anything, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be helpful and don’t pull a face if you are asked to perform a menial task.
- Remember everyone’s names
- Try to remember the names of everyone you are introduced to (write it down). People will appreciate the effort you are taking to learn their names. And here’s where technology is great. After your first day, go home, login to LinkedIn and find your new work colleagues. Send them a message asking to connect and telling them how much you enjoyed your first day. That way, you will be memorable for all the right reasons.