What Does This Mean For You In The Age of Social Media?

As the saying goes, “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” Researchers at Cornell University have discovered that even if the first impression is a photo, the initial judgment can stick up to a month, even after a face-to-face meeting.

To help explain this phenomena, they sited research where the behavior of the person judging was influenced by the opinion they formed when seeing a photo. Their impression led them to treat the person being judged in ways that fulfilled the expectations that the photo stimulated.

What might this mean to you?  People in hiring positions are scanning social media to vet candidates. Is your LinkedIn picture flattering, warm and engaging?  Does your Facebook page include images that could make someone question your credibility? Is your Instagram feed helping or hurting your career goals?

Today’s technology means you never know when you’re making your first impression, so beware.