Are You Making The Right First Impression?

Photo©John Cassidy The Headshot Guy® 07768 401009From a young age we were taught to never judge a book by its cover but I believe that particularly in business (and corporate business at that) presentation plays an essential part in making the right first impression. Nowadays with so many businesses on social media websites, with users looking to network and connect using these platforms, it is vital that your profile is at the highest standard it possibly can be.

One of the first aspects of your profile people will judge you on will be the images that you use. An article by the Business Insider states that recruiters spend 19% of their time on your profile looking at your picture, so both your cover photo and profile picture should be relevant, appropriate and professional. I don’t know about you but I really can’t stand connecting with people with no image at all, I believe the majority of us like to know whom we are talking to and be able to put a face to a name. Another big mistake people make on their social media profiles is having cropped photos as their profile picture and arguably the worst one of all is having a photo from a night out.

Photo©John Cassidy The Headshot Guy® 07768 401009First impressions are a subject that feature heavily in Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Blink’, the book is about the instant decisions we make and the 2 second time frame it takes for us to form these opinions. In this question and answer with the author Gladwell talks about how our snap judgments and first impressions tend to be right, and in business having a profile picture is a tool that can assist you in making the right first impression.

The whole of your social profile (whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc.) is a reflection on you, your personal brand and your business. Your picture will play a key part in whether someone will connect with you. Personally, would you be more inclined to connect with and engage with someone who is in a bar or a club with a drink in his or her hand as their image or with someone who has a professional headshot? We’ve all heard the expression a picture is worth a thousand words and it’s true. A user having a professional headshot as their profile picture gives out a certain aura – it adds to their brand. It suggests that they are willing to invest in their brand, their image and they are actively trying to make the best first impression that they can.

Headshots can be used in a number of different ways; as well as making a great first impression on social media sites they can be used to on business cards, email signatures and websites.

There has been an ongoing debate for many years as to whether professionals should include an image with their CV. Nikki Hutchison, CV expert, says that traditionally including an image should be avoided at all costs unless you are an actor, presenter or model. She says that she would discourage people from including a photo on their CV unless specifically asked by the employer, and asks the question what are you looking to achieve by including your photo? When it comes to including a headshot or image in your CV I agree with Nikki completely, it should be about your skills, experience and what you can bring to the role. However, social media pages are designed for you to have a photo in place so utilise this and make sure it is an image you will be proud for other people to see.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression so make sure you get yours right. To find out more about how I can help please click here.


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