Why Your Personal Image is Everything
We’ve all heard it before : first impressions matter. But, how does this apply in the business world? Below, we have compiled a list of data that proves your personal image can either make or break you in the professional world, and how to present yourself in a positive way.
“You will never get a second chance to make a first impression” – Will Rogers. Several years ago, a group of psychologists at Princeton University discovered that it takes less than a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face and attire, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions. Even before you open your mouth, people are forming an opinion of you. How you present yourself can have a significant impact on how you are perceived by others.
The Internet and Social Media
Studies show that more employers are turning to the internet when making hiring decisions – more than 50%! Employers stated that they often screen prospective candidates through social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To ensure you present a positive image online, make sure your profile picture on all social media accounts is professional and true to what you want to portray. Not only do employers refer to social media, universities and colleges do as well! According to a survey by Kaplan, of those colleges making use of an applicant’s online information, 38% said that what they saw “negatively affected” their views of that candidate. Only one quarter of the schools checking the sites said their views were improved.
A Poor Image
If your image on social media is negative, rude, or unprofessional – it could get you fired. If you live in the GTA, you might remember the incident caught on camera at a Toronto FC game in 2015 where a fan (who worked at Hydro One) yelled sexually offensive remarks to a CityNews reporter. After the video went viral, Hydro One fired the man immediately. Recently, an internet security firm called Proofpoint found that at companies with 1,000 or more employees, 17% reported having issues with employee’s use of social media and 8% of those companies report having actually dismissed someone for their behavior on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
“The clothes make the man” – Mark Twain. As controversial as it may seem, studies show making the effort to look attractive can boost your chances of being hired. 57% of hiring managers told Newsweek that qualified but unattractive candidates are likely to have a harder time landing a job, while more than half advised spending as much time and money on “making sure they look attractive” as on perfecting a résumé. And, when ranking employee attributes in order of importance, managers placed looks above education! Out of 9 character traits, attractiveness came in 3rd place, below experience (# 1) and confidence (# 2) but above “where a candidate went to school” (#4).