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Making a strong first impression is one of the truest expressions of class. Anybody who wants to look good and act well in front of another person or other people should remember the following pointers. These are general ideas for both the young and the professional, but all of them will be suitable for any age.

For Freelancers

It’s a good idea to have a calling card handy whenever you meet someone who might become a potential client. There are many ways to present your craft to people, and you’re welcome to experiment with different modes of introduction. A popular way of sharing your contact details is using fold-out business cards. They’re much more compact than regular calling cards, and they can be tucked away in a pocket or wallet for later remembrance. Remember that you have experience in a field where your clients do not have. Be firm with your prices and put yourself out there without becoming cheap or tacky.

For the Youth

As you grow up, it’s good to remember that most adults often look down upon children and the young, both literally and figuratively. Don’t let this get to you because you’re in complete control of who you are and how you can respond to the age bias. Keep a firm handshake, look people in the eye when you greet them, and give a sincere smile. As early as now, remember people’s names, and be honest if you don’t. Tell them that they’re familiar and that you would like to get their information again. Just make sure that you don’t turn it into a habit.

For Job Hunters

Recruiter and male candidate during a job interview

When looking for a job, you must dress as professionally as possible without overdoing it. If you want to apply for a small business, dress in clean, smart looking casual wear, but avoid shorts and sandals or whatever looks good on boardwalks and beaches. If you want a bigger position in a corporate setting, remember that your resume is much more important than your outfit, though you must wear decent clothing to be let in. Be gracious with your responses, and observe what the interviewers are looking for. You might look good and have an amazing set of skills, but your attitude will tell them if you’re worth the risk.

For Business Owners

Talk to fellow businessmen and women as equals. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one who needs help or if they need your services. Speak with assertiveness but without being boastful in your tone. Learn to listen and watch for cues, particularly when the other person is showing genuine interest in your product or message. Always leave an email or message thanking them for their time.

Whether it’s at school, in the office, or just on the street, a good first impression lasts and can determine your day. Remember that each person may still view you differently, but you don’t have to do the same. Treat everyone with respect, remember their qualities, and keep your distance. A little difference you make each day can develop your character over time.