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First impressions: the magic of a good handshake

According to The Talent Spot Blog, A typical handshake only lasts a few seconds and is easily forgettable. As a job seeker, your handshake is probably the most neglected tool in your networking arsenal.

Clammy hands? Avoid clenching your fist, relax your hands palm down on the tops of your thighs, or keep your relaxed and open hands in your pockets.

Misplaced grip? You wouldn’t leave for an interview without looking at yourself in the mirror, would you? Practice your handshake right before an interview. A roommate, partner, a parent, anyone who will give you the time of day and an honest opinion can give you practice and feedback on your handshake.

Is that it? The handshake is not slap or a high-five and it is not an arm-wrenching motion like you’re pumping water from a well. The perfect handshake is a smooth and swift, confident raising of your hand, which is placed firmly in the palm of your connection’s hand. It requires that you look that person in the eyes, hold a firm, but not too tight, grip and smile.

Stifle your nerves and give a genuine smile with your eyes. When you smile you put the other person at ease, they smile, and you can both relax. This is your chance to connect with the other person. In the next few seconds, you will say something, ask a question, give a compliment, or comment on something you have in common, then release the hand, but hold that connection with the other person in the ensuing conversation.

Practice Makes Perfect!

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