We all know we need it but how to choose an image for your professional profile picture. In the day and age of social media, linkedin resumes and just plain old google. Your online professional image is more important than ever. If you use any social media to interact with potential clients or networking partners then your face has to be out there and obvious that it's you, since this is usually where building your credibility starts!
Choose a close-up, meaning that your head and shoulders fill most of the frame.
Make sure it’s recent. An image that is out of date means people won’t be sure if it’s you. If your hairstyle or colour has changed or you’ve gained or lost weight, for men if you grew or shaved a beard or mustache make sure whatever image you’re using you’re recognizable if you were to run into someone you’ve never met in a coffee shop.
(the photos below are profile pictures Keith and Jenn have used over the years).
It's best to avoid wearing hats or sunglasses or anything else that obstructs your face. People need to see your eyes in order to make a connection with you! Save the fun photos for other places. Your profile picture is the place where people need to recognize you.
Smile. I can’t stress this enough, your smile is what attracts people to you. Even if you don’t like what you look like when you smile this is not about you but building relationships.
Tips #5 & #6
Make sure you have clothes on!!!! Best to stay away from those pics where you are in your underwear or at the beach. It's important to dress appropriately for the image you are conveying.
Also refrain from using images where you are unidentifiable. Profile pictures are often small so putting in a picture where you're small or in shadow makes it hard for someone to connect with you.
(now this isn't to say you can't use these types of photos on your website or social media but they're not recommended for your profile image which is the first image people see of you.)
And lastly make sure you are alone in your profile picture. Using a group photo for your profile picture makes it hard to identify you and your profile image is about you!
Social media and profile images are a huge part of our lives and they can impact whether or not you get a job, a referral or even a date. This is a great place to invest into a professional photographer so that you can always make sure that your making a good impression!