5 Jun 2017 Social media

The importance of a professional profile photo

Profile photo of a man sitting on the stairs

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

This is just as important on social media as it is in any part of life. Your chosen profile photo says a lot about whom you are and how you want to be portrayed.

The first thing most social media channels will ask you to do when you create a profile is to upload a picture of yourself for your profile photo, and this photo stays constantly visible on your page. And just for the record there’s no getting out of it- it is absolutely crucial that you display a profile photo of yourself in today’s online world!

People will identify you from this picture and may also identify your business. That’s why you want your audience to see a face, one that looks trusting and approachable. It is all about your personal branding, and like it or not, people will make an impression based on your photo.

In terms of social platforms, it’s all very well having a selfie of you and your bestie at 2-4-1 happy hour as your personal Facebook photo. However, LinkedIn is a very different platform and needs a very different approach.

How do I take a professional LinkedIn profile photo?

A professional photo shows a professional person. That’s important, right? You can use your photo to define who you are and how you want to be perceived by others. Is it really that difficult to put on some smart attire and get a headshot? (Repeat headshot, not mugshot.)

Smiling is key to creating the best profile photo. You want to be seen as friendly and credible and, although in a face to face situation your personality would be able to do this easily, over the internet it is much more difficult.

1. Simple Background

So how can you get the best photo? Simplicity is key. A plain white background is all you need in order to keep the attention on you and not overload with crazy objects in the background.

2. No Group Photos

Next, keep it all about you. A group photo or family photo just isn’t necessary, this is your profile and you don’t want your viewer having to guess who you are.

3. Smile

And finally, a smiling face and some smart clothes. Nobody wants to work with someone who looks like they have an attitude or will not portray the brand image in the right way.

4. Look professional

Realistically you want to be able to use a professional-looking, high-quality image that shows all your best angles. In all honesty I would recommend seeking a professional for this. They will be able to put you in the best positions and edit to the highest quality.

Why bother? According to a ‘Career Builder’ Survey, 43% of employers surveyed said they were more likely to hire someone if they had a professional profile photo. So who knows, presenting yourself in a professional manner on Social Media may even help you bag that new job!

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