Confident Posture – why and how

Today’s topic is on Posture.

You can tell so much about a person, (how they’re feeling, how they feel about themselves, their surroundings…). It can even effect how others feel about you and respond to you!  So A confident posture is important.

To help achieve good posture while looking relaxed and confident:

Take a deep breath and pull your shoulders back while sitting (or standing) up straight. Then relax your shoulders and exhale. Do this more than once if you’re particularly nervous. It gives you a burst of confidence and allows for good breathing. It can also help you to avoid or reduce feelings of nervousness and discomfort.

While attended a networking event in St. Louis, I ran into a friend I’ve known for a while. He suggested that you take both arms and put them straight up in the air while taking a deep breath. (come on, those of you reading this… get those arms up). Now slowly drop your arms down to your sides while exhaling. (feels good, doesn’t it?). This is also a very effective way to relax and show good posture, though you may not want to do this one in the lobby while waiting for your interviewer. ;)

The Handshake and What It Says About You

I’ve written a few posts about body language, and how you come across to others. I recently received a request to talk more about the topic (and I aim to please), so today’s topic is all about the handshake.

And that’s the first point. The handshake IS important. When you meet someone, SHAKE THEIR HAND. If your hands are full, free them. If they’re standing across the room, approach them. Ignoring a handshake can be seen as disrespectful, so stand up, free your hand, approach the other person and give them a good firm handshake while making eye contact and smiling.

Now, a few tips about the handshake itself:

Warm your hands. Before you meet with the other party, rub your hands together to warm them up, and wipe them on your clothes to make sure they’re dry. You can also sit with your hands underneath your legs to keep them warm and dry.

Free your right hand. When they enter the room, make sure your right hand is free and clear for the handshake.

Go the distance. Stand too close and you’re invading their space. Stand too far away and you appear uncomfortable and isolated. You should stand far enough away to “extend” your hand to shake theirs, but don’t stand so far away that your body has to lean forward to reach them. If’ you’re not sure, stand still, extend your hand, and let them step in to a comfortable distance.

Get a grip. Never EVER grip too tight, especially if you’re a man shaking a woman’s hand. But a weak handshake is not good either. (ladies, NEVER do the little “fingertip handshake”). Give a good solid handshake without squeezing. It’s courteous and shows confidence.

Good hand positioning. Believe it or not, the angle of your hand is significant. An “underhand shake”, where your palm is up, is a sign of submission. An “overhand shake”, where your palm is facing downward, is a sign of dominance. It’s best to make sure your palm is facing sideways, not up or down. If the other person’s palm is facing upward or downward, you should take their hand and adjust so that both your hands are vertical. This indicates a partnership and equality.

A good general rule of thumb… follow the other person’s lead with everything EXCEPT positioning, which should ALWAYS be vertical.

Hope this helps!

Posting Your Bio or Resume on Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is rapidly becoming more and more popular for professionals and job seekers. Recruiters and hiring managers love LinkedIn because of all the good, accurate information provided on a potential candidate. In fact, some recruiters say they are more likely to believe what they see in a LinkedIn profile than a standard resume. This is because your LinkedIn profile is more public and since your former co-workers and supervisors are probably connected, you’re less likely to embellish. :)

With the average viewer being 7 to 10 times more likely to view a video than to read an article, it’s a good idea to post your video resume on your LinkedIn profile. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One, of course, is by simply adding a web site link to your profile that points to your video resume on YouTube. The other, probably a better solution, is to post the video directly on your profile.

In order to do this, you will need to create a presentation that contains one slide with the video embedded. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Upload your video resume to YouTube

2. Add the application “Google Presentations” to your LinkedIn profile (Choose “Edit My Profile” then click “Add Applications”)

3. Create a presentation

4. Select “Insert” | “Video” from the main menu inside the Google Presentation editor

5. Find your video resume on YouTube (a dialog box allows you to search)

6. “Save & Close” (in the upper right corner)

7. Now go back to LinkedIn and Post the presentation to your profile (click the “Post to Profile” link for the presentation).