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Job Seekers: Nail Your Online First Impression… Or Don’t Bother

August 15, 2012

Recent grads – you likely know by now that social media can play a huge part in landing your dream job. Connections are the quickest way to get hired, whether you’re starting a business and looking for potential clients, or want to work for someone else.

When making connections, first impressions are everything.

This week, I received two LinkedIn connection requests… that I denied – each for a different reason.

The biggest red flag when connecting online is letting a typo slip through. I received a message this week from what could have been a mutually beneficial relationship – someone noticed I had a new business listed. They approached me about the possibility of building a website for me. The problem? Their message had four typos.

If you can’t send me a simple LinkedIn request that is error free, I sure as hell will not trust you with my brand.

I also received a LinkedIn message from someone claiming they worked with me at an organization listed on their profile. I’ve never even visited this company’s website, let alone worked there.

Please, job seekers, when you’re making online connections, make them genuine. You won’t come across as sincere if you confuse, or blatantly lie to, the person you’re attempting to connect with. Send them a concise message saying why you want to connect, where you’ve previously interacted with them, and what you hope to gain from (and more importantly… give to) the relationship.

Now, mistakes happen, and we’re all human. However, the beauty of connecting online is that before sending that message, you have every chance to double check for spelling errors and other typos. Take your connection requests seriously so other people will give you the responses you’re looking for.

You will always be judged (whether you think it’s fair doesn’t matter) on the quality of your initial message.

About the Author: Erica Roberts graduated from Oregon State University in 2011 with a B.S. in Marketing. She is an avid reader and writer, and is extremely passionate about social media. Erica currently works as a social media consultant for several clients, and has a social media internship with YouTern. Connect with Erica on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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