There is no argument against first impressions being important. Most people make up their mind about you very quickly and after that it can be hard to change their attitude towards you. What everyone does not realize is that this also applies online.
When you meet someone quickly and get them even slightly interested in you they will often want to find more information about you and they will start by Googling your name. The same goes for when someone you know talks about you to someone else and they get intrigued. What usually comes up first is your LinkedIn profile, if you have one, and/or your other social media presences. These are your online first impressions and your chance to prove your competence and tell a bit more about yourself. It is therefore extremely important that you know what these people will see and that you know how to have control over the content.
Give a great online first impression
I recommend everyone creates a comprehensive LinkedIn profile that outlines their current and past work, accomplishments, competence and ambitions so that when someone is searching for you they not only get a positive first impression of you, but one that encourages them to connect and interact more. I also suggest you hide your Facebook profile from the search results so that people will go to your LinkedIn profile instead of Facebook, which is most likely meant for friends and family. Instructions for this can be found in the video at the bottom.
I also recommend you set a Google Alert for your name by going to www.google.com/alerts and filling out the form with your name with quotation marks around it as seen on the right. This will allow you to get an email whenever a new search result comes up for your name and you will be the first to know about it.
Remember to add a professional image
Setting up a comprehensive LinkedIn profile that creates the best possible image of you can be difficult and time consuming if you are unsure about what you are doing. There are many small tricks you can use to make you profile seem more professional such as always choosing “other” when adding websites to your profiles so that you can name the link yourself instead of using the ready-made options (which make it impossible for people visiting your profile to tell where the link will actually take them). However, most of the required actions are fairly straight forward if you know what to do and using a few hours of your time is definitely worth it as this is truly the main place where people will be building that all-important online first impression.
Our online Academy helps its users with all the above mentioned actions. We cover everything from LinkedIn profile creation and management to Facebook privacy and security settings as well as Twitter basics. This tool has only been available to businesses so far, but due to a large amount of inquiries, we would now also like to offer it to you as an individual. At this time we are only offering it to the readers of our blog for a price of 100 € (+VAT) / 1 month of access. The question then becomes is perfecting your online first impression valuable enough for you to invest a few hours of your time and 100 € (+ VAT)? If you have any questions regarding the Academy or would like to purchase access please contact me directly via email at roope.heinila(at)smarpsocial.com.