Ways to distinguish yourself #185 – Pay Attention to Your Zeroth Impression

This concept is courtesy of my insightful friend Ravi Char of Musings on Information Security. Thank you Ravi.

1. Without a good zeroth impression, you may not even get a chance to make a first
impressionThere is a saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression“. While this still holds good, I think time has come to update the saying to one or more of the following:

2. A stellar first impression may rescue you from a stupid zeroth impression

So what is a zeroth impression?

Zeroth Impression is an assessment people can make of you without even talking to you. How can they do that? Simply by researching and listening to the gossip on and off the web. To start with, one can simply search on your name on one or more of the following:
1. Google
2. Facebook
3. LinkedIn
4. Technorati
5. Google Blogsearch
6. Squidoo

and find out “what you said” or “what has been said about you” (especially from people that the reader trusts) in the past. Combine this with what people are saying about you offline, one can make a reasonable assessment about “who you are” and that is your Zeroth Impression.

Whether you want it or not, you now have a responsibility to pay attention to your Zeroth impression. If you are doing bad in this department, you may already by losing opportunities to make your first impression. If you do get lucky and make a first impression, remember that people are already watching you with a lens that has been formed based on your Zeroth Impression.

Cut it whatever way you like – you don’t have a choice but to pay attention to your Zeroth Impression.


Note 1: For links to the other 184 entries in the “Distinguish yourself” series, please visit my Squidoo lens on the same topic:
Squidoo Lens: Distinguish yourself

Note 2: The first 25 entries in the series have been packaged in a ChangeThis manifesto that was published on September 07, 2005. You can download that manifesto here:
ChangeThis Manifesto: 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself

Note 3: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published on August 8, 2007. Today it is ranked #44. I am overwhelmed by the support for this. Thank you. Here is the link:
ChangeThis Manifesto: Making the Most of Your Time: Going Beyond To-Do Lists