Home Blog From Handshakes to Hellos: 18 Tips for Making a Strong First Impression at Work

From Handshakes to Hellos: 18 Tips for Making a Strong First Impression at Work

Photo of Andy Cakebread Andy Cakebread 29 December 2023
Cheerful men shaking hands on urban building terrace

Let’s talk about first impressions at work. You know the drill – you’re stepping into a new office, meeting a bunch of colleagues for the first time, or maybe hopping onto a Zoom call with a new client.

In those moments, you’re laying the foundation for future interactions. It’s not just about a firm handshake or a confident “hello” anymore (although they do help). There’s a whole art to making strong first impressions.

You might be asking, “Why is all this so important?” Here’s the thing – in the office, first impressions count. They’re your ticket to exciting opportunities, strong professional bonds, and a positive workplace. 

So, join Thankbox as we dive into 18 handy tips to make your first impressions stand out!

Star icon Leave a lasting impression with Thankbox!

It’s never been easier to make an outstanding impression at work. Create a lasting impact and show appreciation by creating a Thankbox. Get started today!

Top 18 steps for a strong workplace debut

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s set the scene. Making a great first impression at work isn’t just about a moment or a grand gesture – it’s about a series of small, thoughtful actions that reveal who you are.

1. Show appreciation

First things first, kindness and genuine appreciation never go unnoticed. Make sure to show your gratitude to everyone who helps you settle in, from the office buddies to the heroes at the front desk. 

Thankbox Thank You Card Sample

And for a cool, modern touch? Send a Thankbox! Think of it as a group greeting card with a tech-savvy twist. It’s a vibrant e-card brimming with personalised messages, fun GIFs, snapshots, and even video shoutouts. It’s a stylish and heartfelt way to say thank you!

2. Smile genuinely

Ah, smiling – it’s the universal language of kindness! A genuine smile lights up your face and the whole room. It’s like saying, “Hey, I’m friendly and approachable,” without uttering a single word. Just picture Ted Lasso and you get the gist!

3. Maintain eye contact

Eye contact is the secret ingredient of effective communication. It shows that you’re fully present, engaged, and attentive. Engaging eye contact is your first step to building peer-to-peer recognition.

4. Firm handshakes

When it comes to first impressions, handshakes reign supreme – think of them as silent introductions to your personality. If you’re thinking, “What if my grip is too strong?” Don’t worry – a firm handshake (but not bone-crushing!) conveys confidence and sets the tone for a positive interaction.

5. Body language

Diverse business colleagues in modern office

Picture this – you walk into a room, shoulders back, head held high – that’s the unspoken anthem of confidence! Good posture is a non-verbal cue that screams professionalism and self-assurance. So, straighten up and let your posture do the talking!

6. Use names

What’s in a name? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Using someone’s name transforms generic interactions into personalised encounters. It’s a subtle way of showing you’ve paid attention, making the other person feel recognised.

7. Be “all ears”

Don’t just wait your turn to speak – use active listening to fully engage with what people are saying. Nod, give feedback, and show genuine interest in their words. 

8. Speak clearly and confidently 

Speaking of making an impression, how you speak is as important as what you say. It’s about enunciating your words, keeping a steady pace, and conveying your message without uncertainty. After all, your voice goes hand in hand with enthusiasm!

9. Show genuine interest

Ever been in a chat where you can tell the other person is fully absorbed? It’s a game-changer, right? Show interest by asking thoughtful questions, offering insights, and really tuning in to their responses. Fingers crossed they’re into Strictly Come Dancing!

Create a reminder form

Want to make a lasting first impression? Show you care by remembering birthdays. Thankbox makes it easy with its birthday reminder tool. Quickly set up reminders, create group online birthday cards, and never miss celebrating their special day.

10. Friendly greeting

Now, let’s talk about greetings. A warm “hello” works wonders. It’s your verbal handshake, the first vocal impression you make. It sets a friendly tone for the interaction, making colleagues feel valued.

11. Respect personal space

Personal space – it’s invisible but oh-so-important. Respecting it is all about reading the room and understanding people’s comfort zones. It’s also giving people the mental and emotional room they need. 

12. Be open and approachable

Want to be that person everyone feels they can talk to? It starts with being open and approachable. You don’t have to be the life of the party, but keeping a few icebreaker questions up your sleeve shows you’re ready to engage.

13. Embrace the dress code

Multiethnic businesswomen

First off, let’s talk about wardrobe. What you wear often speaks before you do. It’s not a fashion runway – it’s about nailing that sweet spot between blending in and subtly wowing. Wear suitable clothes for your workplace – so put that Batman costume down!

14. Email etiquette

Writing emails is an art in itself. The key is to be clear, concise, and courteous. Start with a friendly greeting, state your purpose clearly, and end with a pleasant sign-off. 

15. Show team spirit

Now that you’re part of a team – remember teamwork makes the dream work! Collaborate, solve problems together, and share when recognition comes your way. Giving credit where it’s due strengthens unity.

Star icon Leave a lasting impression with Thankbox!

It’s never been easier to make an outstanding impression at work. Create a lasting impact and show appreciation by creating a Thankbox. Get started today!

16. Ask questions

You’re not expected to know everything or solve big problems right away. It’s okay to ask for help when needed. Better to ask than to realise you’ve done it wrong!

17. Learn about your new employer

Man in a blue suit holding white paper and a pen

While you likely researched the company during the interview process, there’s much more to learn as an insider. Grab an employee welcome pack or handbook and absorb it. Avoid assuming you know everything. 

18. Professional online presence

Remember, your online persona acts as your virtual business card. Curate your LinkedIn profile and be mindful of what you share and how you interact online. After all, a professional digital footprint is essential.

Leave a lasting impression with Thankbox

Every aspect, from your sincere smile to digital persona, plays a role in creating a lasting first impression. As we said earlier, these aren’t just fleeting moments – they’re stepping stones to a more meaningful professional journey.

But why stop there? Extend this positive impact with Thankbox, your go-to tool for strengthening workplace bonds. Whether it’s a birthday or work anniversary, creating a Thankbox is your way of making each coworker feel seen. 

Create a Thankbox today and turn those first impressions into lasting workplace relationships. 


Images: Cover | Diverse business colleagues in modern office | Multiethnic businesswomen | Man in a blue suit