Is A Good Handshake A Lost Art?

We all know that first impressions are important, right? Well, don’t blow it with something as simple as a wimpy handshake. A good handshake is a key factor to how you are perceived as a jobseeker– it sets the tone for the rest of the interview. A bone-crushing grasp can make you look nice to meet youtoo aggressive or desperate, while a limp handshake can make you appear weak and ineffectual. This is especially important for women. Do not shake hands as though you have no bones in your hand. Forget about possibly chipping your nails (which is a HUGE turn off for a hiring manager). Offer the firm handshake of a confident person. And men, please do not be afraid to shake a woman’s hand. She will not break!

The key to the perfect handshake?

1. Aim for firm, not bone crushing.

2. Avoid the “fingertips only” handshake. Instead, make web-to-web contact. The webbing between your thumb and first finger should meet that of the other person, and make sure you shake palm to palm.

3. Know when to let go! The ideal handshake lasts approximately 3 seconds. Hands can be gently pumped three or four times, then it’s time to pull back your hand.

4. Make and hold eye contact with the other person.

5. Smile.

A good handshake conveys to others that you are a confident person with good social skills and leadership qualities. Leave a lasting impression of professionalism, sincerity and confidence.  Good luck in your job search!

Trish Thomas founded The Resume Resource in 2009 to help people develop the tools, strategies and confidence to build satisfying careers. As a Career Coach and Resume Writer, she helps her clients articulate their unique value to stand out from the competition, and guides them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful. Contact us to see how we can help you build a more rewarding career.

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