Impressions are important, especially first impressions. You only get one chance to give a first impression and this is the most important one. It tells a lot about how you do things daily, what you think of yourself, how you take care of things and the importance of things.
This morning I was on a Veterans website reading the different topics. A vet made a post about being able to get grants or scholarships. In the post his writing was terrible. He began sentences with small letters and never bothered to capitalize the letters required by good writing skills learned in school. Someone in a reply to him remarked about his writing skills where this vet replied the post was to get information, not to be criticized about writing skills. I was a little surprised the vet made an excuse for these sloppy writing skills – because in the Army I and most everyone else in the Army learned the maximum effective range of an excuse is – ZERO! I also made a reply to the fact attention was needed towards writing skills because the post was hard to read and follow.
When I read his original post the following thoughts went through my head: this vet never completed school, or never bothered to learn while in school; this vet doesn’t give any attention to details so why would anyone want to hire this person; if this vet doesn’t care to represent him/herself as an intelligent person, caring about things, why would this vet do a job for a stranger; if I was an employer I wouldn’t hire this vet because this person doesn’t care.
Yea, so it was the internet and no one will really know this person, so what’s the big deal? Well the big deal is we (vets) learned one thing in the military – train as you fight! What your first reactions are is normally how you are as a person, its instinct, you don’t have to stop and think about it. Amazingly enough employers look at these things. Why do you think most times when going for a job interview along with your resume there is a personal interview? Resumes are carefully planned out because we want them to be neat, clean and give a good representation of ourselves. But the personal interview many times is what throws the ball in your court. But also stop and think – what if the potential employer wants to “Google” you on the net to learn a bit more about the person? I’m not saying it happens, but in this day and age what if it does happen and we all know nothings impossible!
The internet also gives an impression of what people are like. Many post on the net because they think they are safe, no one is going to read that. But what if an employer found this vet’s post and read the postings and responses? What if it was between this vet and another person, would this make an impression on the employer as to how this person really was? As the owner of my own successful business, just from reading the post in question I’d never hire this person because this person has a lack of attention to detail! If this person could not take the time to properly write a sentence, then how could I expect this person to properly take care of some stranger?
I know in the post the person was looking for advice on grants and such to go to school, but will eventually wants to get a job and such personal traits carry over into school, training and the job. We all know the job market is tight and to get the job you really want sometimes is very hard, so you need to have every advantage you can give yourself.
Just remember even what people read, even if they aren’t going to have further connections with you might be important because maybe someone out there will have contact with you and you’ve now made a FIRST IMPRESSION.