When choosing your profile picture for a professional career platform (ala WayUp, LinkedIn, etc), there are some things to keep in mind. The picture you choose will essentially be an employer’s first impression regarding how you’d fit in the office, so let’s make that first impression a great one.
First thing’s first: Be confident. Be yourself. And be memorable. Pictures on professional sites should not include:
1) Your BFF, your boyfriend, your girlfriend or your dog. We see this all the time and employers do too. They don’t care about your relationship status or where you went on your last date.
2) Any hint of a #selfie. Keep your pictures angled professionally so that employers aren’t instantly aware of the upcoming “duck face.” Photos saved from Snapchat are like an extended family member of the “selfie,” and should also remain absent from your career profile accounts.
3) Clubbing attire, or inappropriate clothing/accessories. Shirts with obscene gestures, curse words, and images are going to receive more “likes” on Instagram than on your career building profile. Furthermore, this isn’t the place to show off your abs or waistline (unless the job you want is for something like BodyBuilding.com.. which actually is a real business with jobs on campusjob.com!) This is true for revealing clothing too – unless of course your dream job includes talents showcasing your bare necessities.
4) The floating hand on your shoulder. Everyone knows that this is just a cropped version of the picture of you and your mom. or cousin. or friend. or frenemy. It doesn’t matter. The hand needs to go.
Now that all of the horrid “don’ts” are out of the way, let’s move on. What should you do?
- Do choose a picture that represents you and your character. Choose something with personality. Let them see your big smile, your large framed glasses or your dapper bowtie. Allow others to get a feel for your character. This may be the only visual contact they have with you.Also, if you know how to use Photoshop, then get out your Photoshop and get artsy.
- Fix the lighting if you have to. Obviously you don’t want to make yourself unrecognizable to the everyday person, so don’t get too carried away with the editing process, but a little extra “exposure” never hurt anyone.
- Most importantly, own it. Believe in your image as you would believe in yourself and send that message to the world. This is the face of your future!