How do you feel when you come across a Twitter account that doesn’t have a profile photo? Would you feel like trusting and following them straight away? Would you hire them? Or would you wonder why/what they are hiding and/or how they come they couldn’t get bothered to upload a photo? You get my point, I think!
Having a professional-looking photo shows you are authentic and serious about your job hunt. It gives you online credibility which is an important currency in today’s job market. However, online profile photos are often an overlooked and damaging aspect of people’s job hunting campaign. Which is strange, as it’s such a quick and easy thing to get right. And it will go a long way towards making people know, like, trust, follow and HIRE you! All you need is a digital camera and a computer.
A great way to show that you are in the know with regards to personal branding it to use the same profile photo across all of your social media platforms. Consistency is key and it will also make it easier for recruiters and HR to recognize you.
A Few Guidelines:
- Use the best quality photo possible (non-blurry, simple background, good lighting – you can google all of that!).
- Take the photo specifically with your job hunt in mind. Don’t recycle old photos.
- Get a friend or a professional photographer to take it for you (none of that photo in the bathroom mirror please! Or use the camera on your laptop if you really have to – but make sure you get the right angle). Remember that you might need to take a lot of photos to get it right!
- Use a close-up of your face, neck and maybe even a bit of your shoulders (and make sure you crop it correctly when uploading onto Twitter).
- If you show your shoulders, make sure they are covered (am I the only one who wonders if people are naked if their shoulders are?).
- Make sure there is only you in the photo (no pets, friends or fancy cocktails!).
- Wear the kind of outfit, make up and hair you would for an interview or that is consistent with the kind of work personality you want to represent (a photo for an investment banking / legal profile will probably show less of a a personal fashion style than someone applying for a fashion PR job).
- Smile and look approachable (it’s surprising how easily people look unapproachable or downright scary when they don’t!).
- Have a look at Twitter’s photo uploading guidelines and make sure you comply.
- Remember: How would you like your future dream employer to see you? That’s the guiding principle!
If You Only Do One Thing This Week: Put a date in your calendar to get your photo taken and enlist a friend or photographer to help. Plan your outfit, hair and make up. If you are taking your photo with the help of a friend, spend some time googling tips for taking the best photo for online use. Get the photos done and once you have a photo you are happy with make sure you use it consistently across all social platforms. Smile!