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Make a good impression

Your attire, interpersonal relations and communication skills—how you act at work is just as important as what you know. Here are some tips to help you make a difference when networking and looking for a job.

Communication and interpersonal relations

It is important to be familiar with the current communication and interpersonal practices in the world of work and management. Whether or not you adhere to them could have a significant impact on your career.

First contact

  • Know how to introduce yourself. Your handshake should be firm. Smile. You can use your positioning statement if you think it’s relevant.
  • Pay careful attention to how you express yourself in French and in English.

A few rules of thumb

  • Be polite and listen.
  • Pay attention to what the other person is saying.
    • If possible, learn more about that person and their company before you meet them.
    • Ask professional questions.
    • Look for things you may have in common.
    • If it’s relevant, talk about your achievements.
  • Speak moderately. Avoid expressing strong opinions or making statements that could offend the other person.
  • Structure your thoughts and express yourself in concrete terms.
  • Develop your ideas, not too little and not too much.
  • Pay careful attention to how you end a conversation. For example, you can thank the other person for taking the time to speak with you. If it seems appropriate, give them a business card.

Your image on social media

Recruiters constantly look at social media to learn more about candidates they meet or want to approach. Be prudent and don’t ruin your chance. Control your image on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

See our tips on:

Your attire

Clothing and shoes, hygiene, hair, jewellery and make-up: details which may seem irrelevant are determining factors.

When you go to work, a networking event or an interview, you need to dress up more than you usually do on a day-to-day basis. This excludes occasions when you are told to dress casually.

In management circles, professionals are generally expected to wear slightly more neutral and conservative clothing than in other environments. That can mean:

  • A suit and tie for men
  • More discrete jewellery, make-up, perfume and cologne.
  • Provocative clothing should be avoided (e.g. very high heels, short skirts, revealing necklines and unbuttoned shirts).

But there are some nuances.

  • For example, in marketing, advertising, startup companies and community settings, the rules are not the same. Learn more.
  • It is customary for managers in the fashion world to wear the latest trends and become ambassadors of their company’s products.

In any case, professionals are always expected to have impeccable hygiene.

Find out more

Learn to manage your professional image in order to stack the odds in your favour. Take the Business Etiquette workshop.

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