Prospective employers are more likely to overlook visible tattoos and body piercings than an ineffective handshake, according to a survey of business owners.
Research has shown that a good, firm handshake inspires confidence and conveys power and professionalism, according to the experts at Indicia Training, one of Scotland’s largest business skills and IT training firms.
The survey revealed 49% of business owners would be put off a colleague, client or other associate by a weak, limp handshake. Indicia general manager and HR director Howard Teale said: “A limp, sweaty handshake is often linked with shy, weak and neurotic people. Getting your handshake just right is a vital, but often overlooked part of making a favourable first impression.”
Here are five handshakes to avoid:
1. THE HARD SQUEEZE
A bone crushing grasp that is agonising for the person on the receiving end. This is intended to show strength and power, but may actually be covering for feelings of insecurity.
2. THE LIMP SQUID
This is a weak, half-hearted grasp that may suggest a pessimist or neurotic. This is unimpressive and conveys a lack of power. Men may shake women’s hands weakly in a gentle or weak manner in order to avoid ‘hurting’ them – however, this would be considered an insult. One handshake should fit all.
3. THE PRISON HANDSHAKE
Keeping the other person’s hand for too long. This can be intimidating and may make your associate feel awkward. Two or three shakes should be sufficient.
4. THE LEFT-HANDER
A common mistake often made at networking events when people are holding drinks or food. Always try to keep your right hand free, as shaking with your left hand can leave the other person feeling off kilter.
5. THE JACKHAMMER
A vigorous handshake. This signifies power and determination, however, it may also suggest a degree of stubbornness.