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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Impressions: First, Last, and Right, Wrong – What Is Being Said and Perceived?

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

Think of all the industries that have specific uses of the word “impression.” For example, we may know about printing (an impression from an engraved block), marketing (the total number of times your social media content was displayed), or comedy (“have you seen his hilarious impression of the president?”). The real question is what do our clients know about the word impression? Do we instruct them on how impressions are made, the influence of impressions on the decision-maker, and how invisible some impressions are thought to be? The interrelationship among impression, perception and judgment cannot be ignored in the work world.

~ Melanie Reinersman, M.A.,

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: When Do We Make An Impact?

Everyone knows first impressions matter, but few realize that last impressions can be stronger. Some people may try hard not to blow the first impression when interviewing, but do not pay attention to the impression they leave behind, particularly when exiting a position. Leaving a job makes an impact on both the individual’s career and the company who dismissed an employee. Read more.

JOB SEARCHING: Employers, Not Just Candidates, Must Make a Good Impression

Because 20% of job candidates know whether or not they are interested in the job based on the first communication with a potential employer, the employer must make a good impression from the start. Attracting talent that matches company culture and future plans starts early in the process and lasts throughout the first month on the job. Read more about first impressions.


JOB SEARCHING: Social Networks Used by Employers to Gain Impressions

Job candidates may be making impressions on potential employers without even knowing it. One reason an employer may not interview someone is due to the candidate’s lack of an online presence. Finding inappropriate posts, such as discriminatory comments, could cause candidates to not be hired, as would finding too many posts or an unprofessional screen name. Read more from Career Builder.

GENDER IN THE WORKPLACE: Impressions of Others

Many factors, such as gender, race or prominence of the member in the group, affect both first and final impressions. Biases based on first impressions exist and awareness is the first step to eliminating them. For example, evaluating women based on appearance rather than achievement contributes to inequitable practices in the workplace. Read more Psychology Today.

TOP TEN: Meanings of Impression offers more than ten definitions of the word impression. While some are industry specific (such as a dentist’s creating an impression of someone’s teeth), others range from an image in the mind to simply a notion. Read all ten at


“A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” - Henrik Ibsen
“The first impression of a new subject is not necessarily the best. Seen from a different angle or under a different condition it might look even better. Always study a three – dimensional subject with one eye closed.” - Andreas Feininger


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