41 percent of hiring managers say a top qualification for a candidate is asking well-informed questions

First impressions happen in the blink of an eye – they’re crucial when it comes to the job hunt and can help you find your way in. In fact, nearly 80 percent of professionals find it difficult to overcome a bad first impression according to a LinkedIn study. It’s important to present yourself in a way that highlights what makes you stand out as a professional. Whether it’s your first interview or your first day at your new job, here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind:

DO: Polish Your Online Presence

Be sure to put your best foot forward – whether it’s in person or in your profile picture. In a recent LinkedIn survey*, nearly one-fifth (17%) of hiring managers say they have eliminated a candidate from consideration because of inappropriate photos online. Take a step back and make sure your online presence matches the first impression you want to leave on a potential employer.

DON’T: Skip the Question Prep

According to a recent LinkedIn study*, nearly half (41%) of hiring managers say that asking well-informed questions is one of their top qualifications for a candidate. If you don’t know where to start, check out the company's LinkedIn page to learn more about their history, current strategies and recent announcements, amongst other company news.

DO: Break the Ice

Finding a mutual connection within your LinkedIn network is an easy way to establish common ground during the interview. In a recent LinkedIn study, almost one-third (29%) of professionals say that a strong personal connection and easy conversation is one of the most important qualities they look for in a potential candidate.

DON’T: Show Up Late

Timeliness is a timeless trait. One-fifth (21%) of professionals say that punctuality is key and one of their most important criteria for a candidate.

Keep these dos and don’ts in mind to leave a great first impression with anyone you meet in the job hunting process. By keeping your online presence polished, building rapport with your interviewer and being respectful, you’ll set yourself up to find your way into your next career opportunity, and the right job for you.

Read the full post on the LinkedIn blog here.

***LinkedIn partnered with Censuswide Research to carry out an online survey of 1,025 professionals in the US between May 4, 2017 and May 9, 2017.