• Sharon Gill

The Power of First Impressions


You only get one chance to make a first impression. This is not a cliché, this is fact.

So how do you navigate this in today’s online market?

As a self- proclaimed online junkie with 20k combined followers on Facebook, and another combined 28k on LinkedIn between both of my pages, I know only too well the importance of online “impressions”.


How we previously judged others based on handshakes and business suits have been superseded by our social media avatars (the little box with our pictures). Your social media avatar, in many cases, is your first impression. You have to be super conscious of the image you want to portray.


While I understand that you may want to honor a loved one who has passed on, or your pet snake, or favorite cartoon character, serious job seekers and those in the market for clients need to remember that when they are being “checked out” online, your profile picture is your first impression.


As a Facebook Group Admin for many closed groups, I receive multiple requests for group admission. The first thing I see when the request pops up is your avatar. The mind immediately forms an impression from that data.


Potential employers and clients are making judgments when viewing your public posts. This is where you have an opportunity to strengthen that first impression. You can have a professional looking avatar, yet be completely undermined by the posts that you share on your social media pages. Be mindful of the content you post, share and like.

On the other hand, someone with a solid and impressive background may be overlooked, because their avatar happens to be the face of someone or something other than themselves.


Here are five points to consider:

  1. Analyze your appearance, both online and in person. Are you or your social media platform projecting the image that you want?

  2. Ask yourself would you hire you? Take a step back and look objectively on your public image. Does your image communicate success and confidence?

  3. Evaluate your connections online and in person. Are you associating with people who are uplifting, positive and share your values? (You are the average of your 5 closest associations).

  4. Check for misspellings on your written communication. Avoid ALL CAPS and other grammatical pitfalls. In today’s high tech community, our smart phones sometimes aren’t so smart and may insert an incorrect word from time to time. If you are in the job market, be extra diligent in this area.

  5. Smile :). This is the universal language of confidence and likability. While you may think it is “cool” to scowl, frown or make a face, your potential boss or client may not. A smile is an introduction for more conversation.


Wherever you are in the process, take a moment and consider these 5 points and see if you are in breach of any one of them. When you practice these 5 points, you will have little to worry about when requesting group membership in a private group, or requesting an interview with a prospective client or boss.


Be consistent across all social platforms and in person. You have 30 seconds to win them over. Knock ‘em dead!


PS I am inviting female leaders who want to grow their leadership skills, executive presence, communication skills, all while creating boundaries in the process to join me next month as we kick off our first Today’s Business Woman Mastermind. we meet twice per month for an hour. Introductory rate $99 per month. https://www.sharongill.com/todays-woman-mastermind