You already know you never get a second chance to make a first impression—so there’s no better time than now to start taking advantage of every opportunity.
Within seconds of meeting someone, you’re sized up and put in convenient categories, so while that’s happening, why not nudge your new acquaintance’s thinking and feeling in the directions where you want them to go. (I’ve talked about the art of introducing yourself once or twice before.) As with everything you set out to accomplish, you need to be clear about what you’re after and how to move your ball down the field in a user friendly way. As with everything, practice improves performance.
Initial impressions tee up the next stages of engagement, when new people fill in the blanks that interest them about you. When you establish rapport and mutual interest, the returns are continued attention, affiliation, support, and collaboration.
Unlike a face-to-face encounter, first impressions are usually two-dimensional when you’re applying for a job. It’s submitting an introductory letter or resume. Or if you just want to announce your availability, it’s a flyer or on-line posting. As with real time encounters, you’re aiming to establish common ground while creating positive expectations about things not already known about you and what you have to offer. In other words, you want to make your two-dimensional introduction as three-dimensional as possible.
So I loved Phillipe Dubost’s recent job posting for the position of Web Product Manager.
Dubost provides all the key information about his years of experience, proudest accomplishments and his customers’ positive experiences. But what sets his job posting apart is his playful adaptation of the standard Amazon sales page to sell himself. It’s complete with “star ratings,” “product description,” his “frequently bought together” items, the announcement that there’s “only one left in stock—order soon.” and, even one of those “Add to Cart” buttons. You should check it out. (Many thanks to Loretta James for sharing!)
Dubost has attracted a lot of attention with his job posting (more than a million views to date), but it’s what it tells us about his ingenuity and playfulness, the things he knows about social engagement, that will land him the job.
Your introduction doesn’t need to be as distinctive as his. But it does need to pack as many of the positives about you as possible into it, and Dubost’s does that. If you have a personality and a sense of humor, figure out your own way to get them across too.
Maybe it’s a picture of you as a child doing some of the same things you’re doing now—and want to keep on doing. Maybe it’s a quote from somebody that captures a side of you better than your own words can. Maybe it’s . . . .
I’m profiling Dubost’s Amaz-ing Introduction to jump start you thinking about whole new ways to put yourself out there when you want to yield something amazing in return.
(When Phillippe finds the job he’s looking for, I promise to let you know. Or you can follow him yourself on Twitter @pdubost. In the meantime, welcome to his cheering section!)