Image is everything (no pun intended), first impressions count, people judge you at first glance before you even open your mouth to speak. We’ve all heard these sayings, true or not, I don’t know. But, what I can tell you with the utmost certainty is that a bad profile image can jeopardise your chances of getting selected for an interview or even getting approached.
Your profile picture whether be it for your CV or LinkedIn profile needs to say the right things about you. Look at your current LinkedIn profile picture, what message is it sending out to your connections and potential connections, what kind of response is it evoking?
Having a picture on your CV is now a common practise, and this is because digital media has advanced so much that we now feel more comfortable if we see the person we are about to meet so we can be well prepared on what/whom to expect.
The ability to take pictures with mobile phones changed the game, and we have now transformed into more visual beings.
Recently we experimented with two LinkedIn profiles, where one had a picture and the other one did not. Sure enough, the profile with a picture received a lot more connections versus the one without a picture given the same number of invites.
People generally aren’t intrigued by the surprise element when it comes to meeting or interacting with new people.
Now, if you are going to include your picture on your CV and social profiles, then please take note of the following when taking your picture.
- Consult a professional. If you can, I highly recommend seeing a professional photographer, it is really not that expensive and you can ask for a discounted rate because it will be just a few pictures and no printouts.
- If you can’t afford to go the professional route, get a partner to help you. Before jumping straight to selfie mode, try finding someone close to you to help, a friend, partner or family member. Someone that cares and is patient with you.
- Last resort, selfie. If there is no one around to take the picture for you, then selfie it is. When taking a selfie for your professional documents or online profiles, please note the following:
- No pout, the picture is not for a dating site so ladies, please do not pout. No kissy-kissy face.
- Men, resist the urge to come across as very serious, you end up looking too intimidating (sometimes downright scary), and people tend to shy away from that.
- Show off your pearly whites, nothing is as inviting as a smile. Don’t go overboard we don’t want you looking deranged, but definitely soften your face with a smile. If you are someone who feels uncomfortable smiling for the camera, just a slight smile will do because at the end it needs to look natural and not forced.
- Keep your facial expression professional. Please remember that this is not for your friends this is a professional image.
Things to consider when preparing to take your profile picture;
Search online the best poses
Dress accordingly and professionally
Avoid busy backgrounds and colours
Make sure there is enough lighting
Try using your camera flashlight to remove shadows on your face
Smile, not a huge smile, but a subtle smile of confidence
Make eye contact – look straight at the camera
NO mug shots, please.
A great picture sends a message of confidence and trust, which is key to making a great impact and first impression.
Here are some examples of great profile pictures: wwww.pinterest.comhttps://elite-cv.com//wp-content/uploads/2018/08/professional-woman.2jpg.jpg