How To Make a Good Digital First Impression

Oftentimes, someone’s first impression of you might be one they find on a Google or social media search. How do you want to be seen at that moment when you don’t even have an opportunity to introduce yourself or let your character, your kindness or your humour shine? How do you want to be perceived?

With quick access to the internet and social media, we have all become very ‘searchable.’ Have you ever ‘searched’ someone up online to get an idea of who they are, what they do, even what they look like before meeting them in person? If you’re researching people, you can rest assured people are researching you, too! Here are three things to help you keep a healthy social media presence:

1. Make the first impression count! – Some first impression studies say that it takes about 7 seconds after seeing someone to start building a first impression. I don’t know about you, but I am trying to make an impact on the world through the work I do and the life I live – with that I need to make sure I am well-represented everywhere!

Take some time to review your profiles and ensure that it reflects who you are. Take a few minutes to make that 7-second impression the best one possible.

Image is a very important part of your personal brand. I want to be seen as someone that is professional, kind and trustworthy. Before posting any photo, any comment, and even ‘liking’ something, I ALWAYS think this first: If my current and future colleagues were to see this, what would their perception be? Would my kids be proud of their mom if they stumbled upon this picture or video in years to come? Would my network of people I do business with or hope to do business with want to work with me if they were to search my profiles? Make sure what you are putting out there is exactly how you want to be represented in your next business meeting, at your child’s parent-teacher meeting, at your next interview, etc.

2. Think before you post! – Before you hit “share”, make sure that this isn’t something that goes against the values of your employer and who it is you want to be perceived as. Be real but be smart! Like many, I have put myself out there – you can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat – you can even find what I pin to my boards on Pinterest. Everything I put out there leaves my footprint and opens the door for others to perceive me.

When you attach yourself to an organization – it is your own business, your volunteer group, the board you sit on – your image is now attached to that organization. Think about that. Think about how your image affects those around you – your team members, your staff, your employer, your contacts in the industry and more.

3. Conduct a social media check-up! – Use the “View as” option on FB or LinkedIn. You may think your account is private but you might be surprised at what comes up when your potential future employer, candidate, or potential business partner looks you up. It’s not vain to Google yourself, it’s actually a great move!

While relationships are not solely built on just that first impression, it is a very important part of the start of that relationship. Pop your name into a Google search and see what comes up. Make sure your profiles are professional and clean them up if need be! Make sure that you’d want to do business with you!

Cheers!

~ Mandy Gauthier, VP of Plan A Long Term Care Staffing & Recruitment

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