First Impressions and Social Media


If I say “first impression”  what comes to mind?  Dress, handshake, personal grooming, posture and self-introduction?  We can probably agree that the first impression you make can be significant to landing the job, doing business together, making new friends and impressing the girlfriend’s parents.

In this modern day of social media, does a first impression happen in-person?  Many times -NO!

Our on-line words and pictures are often our first impression. Throw out a name and if that person is on Twitter, we can discover their thoughts, see pictures connected to their Instagram account, find their web site  and even tell you what they did this past weekend. I can tell with whom they are interacting and have a sense for their maturity & intelligence based on their choice of words and tweets. Without even meeting them.

Welcome to the 21st Century. A first impression often happens long before we meet a person.

This is a VERY important lesson for our youth – both the youth that is growing up with this awesome technology and the youth that are now young adults in the real world. They live their lives in a very public way. They’ve always had it at their disposal.

A November New York Times article, They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets, ” discusses how some colleges are viewing applicants social media accounts as a way to aid in the admission decision. Due to the large number of applicants, this isn’t being used at the majority of schools. Today. But if I were a betting girl…

I know plenty of smart parents who ensure their high school seniors have cleaned-up their social media accounts. Just in case those colleges are looking!

Way back in October 2011, Mashable.com published a survey that highlighted 91% of recruiters and hiring managers will use social media as a screening tool in the hiring process. 69% of them rejected a candidate based on what they saw on their social media accounts, while 68% of them had used that information to hire a candidate.

Lots of swear words in your posts? Oops! Is that a party picture of you with the classic red cup in your hands? Oops!  Were you just bashing your school, teachers or principal? Oops! Did you really post that inappropriate joke?

And you wonder why you’re not even getting an interview?

I know that the majority of my blog readers aren’t teenagers or their 20’s. But I do know that this subject is wide-spread and if you’re a parent, part of what your kids pay you big bucks to do is to help them learn and grow up. Please help them ensure that the impression they are making on-line sends the right message. I’d hate for their first (on-line) impression to be their last both during their college and job search.

We are leaving digital footprints. Make sure you’ve scraped the mud off before you enter the house.

Mind Your Manners,







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