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How limited company contractors can nail first impressions

Paystream News

Kerry Hull

Friday 1st Jun, 2018

Limited company contractors typically have more first impressions to make than most workers, so here's how to get them spot on every time.

The first day in a new job is usually always daunting and for limited company contractors and freelancers who regularly move between clients and sites, first days can come around a lot more often than they do for regular workers.

As a result, it's vital that contractors are confident in knowing how to make a good first impression.

However, recent research commissioned by promotional products provider 4imprint led to the discovery that almost half of workers in the UK have made a bad first impression in their job after making an embarrassing gaffe on their first day in a new role.

For contractors, making a bad impression can be extremely costly, as short-term contracts can mean there is no time to make up for initial mistakes that can stick in a client's memory.

So, how can limited company contractors ensure they always make a tip-top first impression and put themselves in with a better chance of securing recommendations from their clients?

How to nail first impressions

A spokesperson for 4imprint commented: "Not knowing who you'll be working with, not being 100 per cent sure how to get to your new workplace and worries over what to wear can make for a nerve-wracking first day.

"Our study found the importance of what you wear to work can make you feel as comfortable as possible on a first day and help create a great first impression.

"A decision can be made about a person within 26 seconds of meeting them - which is why appearance is so important."

Dressing in a smart and professional manner will be most appropriate for some roles, but this won't be most suitable in certain industries. For more manual jobs, make sure you're wearing clothes that are clean and not too paint-splattered or rumpled if possible and take the time over your hair and to make sure your nails are clean, as those little things matter.

As part of the research, 4imprint asked people what they thought were good tips for making the best possible first impression, and the majority said finding out as much as possible about the company or client beforehand was always a wise idea.

Meanwhile, 58 per cent of respondents advised arriving early on the first day and 57 per cent said it was a good idea to ask intelligent and engaging questions to show willing and enthusiasm - of course, this is a basic requirement for contractors anyway to find out why they have been drafted in, but it's always useful to remember should nerves take over.

First day gaffes to avoid

Nerves can be an issue, and this is something that personal service company contractors most definitely need to overcome if they're going to be regularly working with different clients at different places.

With this in mind, there are certain things workers should always try to avoid in order to make the best first impression possible. In fact, 4imprint compiled a list of workers' top 30 worst first day nightmares, which contractors might want to give some thought to and find a way to avoid to ease any first day nerves.

At the top of the list was forgetting someone's name immediately after learning it, while getting someone's name totally wrong came in second place. In third was being too nervous to make a decent first impression, finding they were not expected came in fourth and merely saying something stupid came in fifth.

Other fears on the list included turning up at the wrong place entirely (sixth), arriving late due to traffic (tenth), damaging company property (21st) and having a wardrobe malfunction (27th).

Taking all of this into account, it's important for limited company contractors and freelancers to ensure they are as prepared as they can possibly be before meeting with a new or prospective client for the first time.

Contractors have more first impressions to make than most workers, so it's essential to get them spot on each time.