You might use social media networks to connect with friends and family, follow lifestyle brands, and show fan-pride for celebrities. You may also use social media to connect with prospective employers. However, if your personal use of social media conflicts with your professional goals, you could be jeopardizing your ability to land a good job.
The Importance of Professional Profile Pictures
Some recruiters use social media networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to screen potential job candidates. This can pose problems for social media users who use their profiles to display photos of their recreational activities. According to professional etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, it is wise to make sure all of the photos you post are professional so that any recruiter can comfortably and confidently approach you.
This is not to say that you should restrain from taking adorable photos in your free time. However, to maintain a high level of professionalism, such photos should not be posted to your professional social media site, like LinkedIn. More so, for screening purposes, some recruiters will find the social media profiles you use to engage with your networks of friends. Therefore, posting questionable photos on your Facebook timeline and Instagram may negatively affect your job application. The best place to display your beach pictures is in a frame inside your home.
Pointers for Posting Professional Profile Pictures
Whenever a recruiter or hiring manager views your profile, the first visual that meets the eye is your profile picture. This reinforces the importance of having a high quality, professional image in place.
Let’s look at a few pointers for posting a professional profile photo;
- Your profile photo should be a clear headshot, showing your head, neck, and the upper part of your shoulders. (No selfies!)
- Wear appropriate, professional clothing that shows well on camera. If your shoulders are displayed, ensure they are clothed decently.
- Try to display a fine smile! Don’t look too serious. Be realistic and mature.
- Avoid using hats, sunglasses, or head coverings.
- Ensure that your profile photo displays only you. Don’t include other people (friends) in the profile photo because professionals, employers, or recruiters may have trouble identifying you.
- Keep it simple.
- Be you! Let your personality shine.
Once you have a nice headshot, or series of headshots, make all your online profile photos consistent. This is a good way to create a “personal brand.” It can also relay how organized and reliable you are. Better yet, it satisfies the expectations of a recruiter who is screening your many social media profiles.
It is very important to have high-quality profile pictures displayed online. Whether you are looking for a new job, growing your professional network, or developing an online business, a clear and professional profile photo makes it possible for other people to connect with you easily.
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