Body Language, Business Etiquette, Confidence, First Impressions, Image consultancy, Lyn Bromley

Top 7 Mistakes That Ruin Your First Impression


      1. Poor grooming
      2. Not paying attention to the required dress code
      3. Poor body language
      4. Wearing clothes that do not suit your body shape
      5. Wearing unflattering shades of clothes
      6. Too much, or too little make up (or unkempt facial hair for men)
      7. Unpolished shoes

Poor Grooming

The key issues I see and hear about from employers are dishevelled or crumpled clothes, unwashed or unkempt hair, dandruff and unpleasant smells – a shower or wash every day and showing your clothes an iron is a must!

Dress Codes

It’s important to observe dress codes, it is all part of respect for the person you are meeting.  Is there a company policy on dress code?  If so, observe that, if not take a look at what you peers are wearing and ‘model’ someone who is getting it right.

Body Language

My favourites of the body language misdemeanours are the limp fish handshake, or the bone crusher handshake – both of which are very unpleasant!  A smile, good eye contact and good posture are key to making a good impression, along with a firm handshake of course!


Clothes that are too big, too small or that do not suit your bodyshape are unflattering.  They also call into question your judgement.  If you can’t dress yourself properly, what hope is there for you delivering on your targets or meeting your objectives?!


Some colours can give you a glow, make you look well and healthy and others can make you look out of focus, grey or just plain ill – it’s important to know which shades suit you best.  Everything you wear should be flattering to you and working in your favour, not against you.

Facial Grooming

For women wearing too much or too little make up are key mistakes that I see.  Too much says nightclub (which is fine if you work in one, but not for in the office) and too little says ‘I’ve not bothered’.  A little goes a long way and improves your credibility.  For men facial hair is fine, so long as it is well groomed and not too long.

Unpolished Shoes

Shoes should always be clean and of the best quality you can afford.  Shabby shoes says shabby person.

If you would like to know more on how to make a good First Impression, please check out some of my earlier blogs.

Have a great day,


Lyn Bromley MFIPI, ACMA –  Managing Director, First Impressions

 Lyn Bromley is Managing Director of First Impressions Training Ltd and a Master of The Federation of Image Professionals International. (FIPI)  She is also Membership Director of FIPI and a leader of Achiever’s Academy for Women.

Please contact us if you would like to know more about our programmes, bespoke image training or one-to-one coaching. 

First Impressions have a network of over 150 consultants working across the UK – to find one in your area visit the website and take a look at the consultant map.

Telephone: +44 (0)1926 623038





6 thoughts on “Top 7 Mistakes That Ruin Your First Impression

  1. These are great tips for all of us! I was nodding through the whole post. I would like to add “no obnoxious tattoos or body piercings.”

  2. Lyn…thanks for such a great post! Very practical tips. First impressions really are important. Like my late mother would always say, “There are no such things as folks having two sets of table manners.” 🙂

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