University Feature

The power of a good handshake

March 19, 2014


The first thing that gets your foot in the door? Your hand.

Every year, we meet hundreds of students who are eager to make a good impression whether at a career fair, interview, networking event or the like, it all starts with the handshake. While everybody knows that you’re supposed to have a firm, confident handshake, knowing something and doing it are two different things. And if you’ve spent any time shaking hands, you know there are some really, really bad handshakes out there.

Here are some handshake no-nos to avoid so you’ll be remembered for all the right reasons.

  • Don’t suffocate. Firm doesn’t mean bone-crushing.
  • Don’t do the finger shake. If the other person comes in for a full handshake and you’ve offered just the fingertips, you’re about to get crushed. Shaking with the full hand conveys confidence.
  • Don’t float. You’re not a 19th-century lady being courted by a gentleman, so don’t offer just your folded fingertips.
  • No fist jabs or high fives. Save them for your friends.
  • Don’t overshake. You know what an excited dog does to a chew toy? Don’t do that.
  • Don’t linger. You get only a couple of seconds to offer a solid handshake. Anything more than that, and you’ve overstayed your welcome.

Good luck!