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The first impression is in your hands

Whether it is a job interview, networking event, career fair, it does not matter where you are meeting someone in a professional way, you can’t have a cold fish handshake. I always notice this when I meet someone, especially if their handshake is not firm. You have heard it before, that first impression is critical and how you shake hands with someone says a lot.

Here’s some advice from our job search coach, Terry Wynne, reprinted with permission from H2O magazine:

Whether you’re applying for a job or meeting an interviewer, you want to ensure that your first impression is a good one. One way to do so is through an effective handshake.

When you shake another person’s hand, lock the area between your thumb and first finger with the same area on other person’s hand and press your palm into the other person’s palm. Imagine grasping a tennis racket so you grasp firmly, but not too hard.

Shake hands two to three times. Either a male or female can extend a hand first – gender does not matter. Do, however, avoid putting your free hand on top of the other person’s hand that you’re shaking. You’re meeting a person – not consoling them.

No one likes the wimpy handshake, the “shake your arm off” handshake, or the “I’m afraid to touch you, so I’ll just touch your fingertips” handshake. Show your confidence with a firm handshake while looking directly into the other person’s eyes and say something memorable or appropriate with your most sincere voice, such as “How nice to meet you.” If the other person truly shakes your hand effectively, be sure to add, “You give a good handshake!”  Since not everyone shakes hands gives a good handshake, that person will be receiving a rare compliment.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.