Five tips for a great first impression

Jaap, a contestant on the Dutch dating show Boer Zoekt Vrouw (“Farmer Seeks Wife”) has already mentioned on about forty separate occasions: 'You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression'.

Jaap's performance during speed dates is a little lackluster, but his message is spot on. You only make a first impression once. And once made, it’s hard to change. But how do you get it right?


1. Get a professional profile picture

This one seems obvious, but we’ll put it out there anyway. A professional profile photo is one that:

  • makes you recognizable—so no sunglasses, no hats, and don’t show yourself as a dot on that mountain you once climbed. Also, no photos from 20 years/kilos ago. It is what it is.
  • leaves out private details such as children, pets and whatever you like to drink after work.
  • is unfiltered. Okay, a little adjustment is OK, but make sure that the difference with reality is small.
  • gives you a businesslike appearance. No Instagrammable pursed lips or deep necklines.

Our advice: Hire a professional photographer. It’s a small, one-time investment, but the result is well worth the money. You can also use the photo on your other business profiles or website.

2. Choose a business name that shows what you do

“Lovelynurse” is problematic, especially in combination with a sultry photo: great for a Tinder match, but not a Dytter match. A joke in your company name is okay, but keep it business-like. If you recognize yourself in any of these warnings, don’t worry too much: you can change your company name fairly easily at the Chamber of Commerce.

The same goes for your email address, by the way. or is not a great idea. Neither is, unfortunately.

3. Make sure your appearance is appropriate

And by “appropriate” we mean appropriate to the position in which you will be working. Long artificial nails with nail art are hip, but they probably don't fit your function. Trim your nails and don't paint them. Put your hair in a ponytail or bun, wear work clothes and shoes, and save the artful makeup and clever T-shirts for private occasions.

4. Be aware of social media

The first thing a potential client’s going to do is Google you and look you up on social media. So be aware of how you look there. Our tip: check your profile permissions if necessary and make them only accessible to friends. This way you can let go without leaving a negative impression with clients.

5. Make an unforgettable entrance on your first day at work

Because that’s another place where your first impression is decisive. So make sure you:

  • Show up on time
  • Introduce yourself
  • Adapt to the culture of the organization

Remember, many of your colleagues have been working there for years, and they’re not waiting for someone to tell them how things should be improved on the first day. Good ideas are always welcome, of course, but pace it a little. Roll up your sleeves (literally) and be thoughtful and involved.

Our tip: read through the client’s website, so you’ll know what to expect and don't have to ask unnecessary questions.

Gah, that sounds strict!

It’s really not so bad in practice. At Dytter we stand for quality and professionalism—from ourselves, but also from those we match. If you need help setting up your profile, just let us know and we’ll be happy to advise.