Everyone knows not to judge a book by its cover. But every author also knows how great a cover can help them. The advertising helps a lot. That’s why nearly every semester, Cornell holds workshops to help you build your resume. But your resume is not the only thing that’s important. It’s how you present yourself that says a lot about you. Sure, you’re allowed to have bad days. But you never know who you could meet or what opportunities you have each day. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you out!
1. Invest in a watch
I know your smart phone can tell you the time in just a click. But having to reach into your pocket to check the time every so often may seem a little disrespectful (It’s probably even more disrespectful to have your phone out). Also, you probably have a ton of notifications you’re dying to open, which can be distracting as well. Having a watch shows whomever you’re with that you are responsible with time and it’s also a lot more subtle than checking your phone.
2. Dress for class
I know you don’t want to wake up earlier than you have to for class, but I’ve found it beneficial to dress for class. I don’t mean button down and khakis everyday, but just not sweats or even worse, pajamas. For those of you in high school, it’s true – college students literally roll out of bed and go to class – and in a lecture hall of 500 students, no one really cares what you’re wearing. But when I’m in my PJs, am I really in the mood to pay attention? Probably not. Also, I’ve found that I’ve ran into people that I want to impress while I’m looking my worst. I’m not saying you have to be trendy or fashionable or dress up everyday, but simply make it look like you got ready in the morning. Show that you care about your routine.
3. Think before you speak
Have you ever met those people who seem to go on and on without really contributing anything? Don’t be one of those people. Always have a point when you speak to someone and make sure you think about what you’re saying and what consequences may come. I wouldn’t avoid controversial topics if you are truly passionate about your stance on them, but try not to offend anyone that you are talking to or that may be close by. You may not know what position they stand on a certain topic, so never speak down toward something. Rather, keep it positive and speak in a manner which brings out the positive aspects of your position, and not the negative aspects of the other side. Being well-spoken is a rare skill nowadays. Bring it back!
4. Work on your handwriting
This one seems kind of odd for a topic relating to first impressions. I’ve realized that people pay attention to your handwriting and admire someone for their penmanship. It’s not the most important, but at the same time, it can help a lot. People perceive handwriting as part of your personality. You don’t necessarily have to make it look typed and perfect, but it just has to be neat. It says a lot about someone when they try to fit pages of chicken scratch into 1 page. If you know you have chicken scratch, try to space out your words. Don’t worry about fitting everything you have to write down onto one sheet. Instead, take your time and be organized. It will pay off.
5. Show passion
If you haven’t watched it already, a good feel-good movie is Rudy. The main character chased his dream, and even though he didn’t have the right physical qualifications, he showed true passion and hard work. People will understand if you don’t know a certain concept or if you don’t have a certain skill yet. That stuff can always be learned. What’s important is your work ethic and how you respond to certain situations. Those kind of things take years to get down.