You only get one chance to make the perfect first impression. No…seriously, you only get one shot to make yourself, your website, your social media or your business standout from the crowd and not appear as a total disaster. You don’t want to mess it up.
Make it Count
Did you know that you only have about 10 seconds to make a good first impression? That means that you have a VERY short amount of time to not scare your future employer or potential clients away with your resume, website or social media. How often do you open a website, look at a resume or see a social profile, only to be turned off immediately because of the way something was worded or designed?
Making a good first impression on the web is extremely crucial as everything you do online, stays there forever. It is a good idea to always assume that everything you write, post or do online will be seen by the public. Always present yourself in a positive, professional light by using nice profile photos, catchy-appropriate-logos or headers, write a great bio about your company or yourself and NEVER post photos of your wild parties or weekend shenanigans. Also, be responsible and logical, especially because the majority of potential employers search applicant’s social profile history or new customers look over your website and social accounts to make their buying decisions. Be smart!
Do Stress the Little Things
Whether you are a very large brand or an individual, the need for a good first impression is critical. To make a good first impression, you really need to stress the small details on anything and everything-logos, websites, resumes, social media, etc. Stressing the small details will make you look professional, trustworthy and knowledgeable.
Websites: On the website home front, you need to really make sure the design and functionality of your website is simple, user friendly, clearly written and makes people want to stay on your site. Focus on hierarchy, be consistent and use eye-pleasing colors. It is also really important to include a mission statement and an about us section, make sure all the links on your site work, your contact information is current, you have included appealing and appropriate photos, RIGOROUSLY spell check the site, and provide the information that your audience is looking for.
Resumes: No matter how amazing your skills are or your abundance of experience, if your resume is not perfect, you will have either seriously injured your first impression or really killed it. Save the life of your resume by having a clean and organized layout, spell check it and then have someone else spell check it for you to prevent errors. You should also include a profile statement, talk about your strengths and your goals to really show that you want the job, and include your contact information and social links. Also be sure to not have your email address on your resume be inappropriate or something like “Ilikecats@hotmail.com,” have something professional that includes your name. This is your one chance to shine in the eyes of the employer, make it count!
Social Media: Social media is a big one! First and foremost, have a nice, clean and professional profile picture of either yourself or your business. People don’t trust or want to follow a default icon. Include a bio that also has strong keywords. Post content often and make it APPROPRIATE. If your repost something, make sure that the content was not originally shared by a hate group or controversial source. Again, spell check your posts and don’t use swear words on your social media. If you are a business, make sure that you follow other similar brands from your industry and nothing that will have negative effects on your brand. First impressions really count and social media portrays who you are very well, even when you don’t realize it does.
Offline: Since not everything is done online, it is important to make a good first impression in real life too, especially if you are applying for a new job. If you are meeting someone new, dress nicely, do your hair, shine your shoes, brush your teeth, always smile, shake their hand, look them in the eye and be polite. But also make sure that you don’t have the enthusiasm of a dead fish, be fun and creative, as you only get one shot to make the best first impression.
Do It Right the First Time
The pressure is on to make that perfect first impression. The nice thing is, it is not really complicated to make a positive impact. Use those short 10 seconds to your advantage by using appropriate photos and content online, use clean formats and nice colors, be professional, include bios and mission statements and really spell check content. You only have one shot to impress, don’t mess it up!
Kleinberg, S. (2013, May 2). Social Media First Impression: Your Digital Handshake. Retrieved from Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-02/features/ct-tribu-social-media-first-impressions-20130502_1_social-media-instagram-job-interview
Pritchard, E. (2013, March 21). First Impressions: How Are People Interacting & Reacting to Your Brand's Website? Retrieved from Business 2 Community: http://www.business2community.com/infographics/first-impressions-how-are-people-interacting-reacting-to-your-brands-website-infographic-0442045
Snood, A. (2013, April 11). Digital First Impressions: You Only Get One. Retrieved from Social Media Today: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/digital-first-impressions-you-only-get-one