What does your profile picture say about you?
Social media accounts are now an essential part of the modern toolkit for self-promotion, as most people have LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google + accounts.
While all of these tools can aid different types of social interaction, with LinkedIn for professional career-related use and Facebook for more personal interaction with friends, there is a common need across the platforms for your own personal profile picture.
Most people understand the importance of a good profile picture and will select a photo that they both like and that they feel sets the tone for how they would like to be seen. LinkedIn is now widely used as the modern CV, with employers commonly checking your profile in the course of any job application. It is also common for people to export their LinkedIn profile as the basis for an offline CV.
Your profile picture should therefore represent the image you wish to portray professionally. There are an awful lot of images on LinkedIn that are of a beloved pet, or a favourite hobby. But you wouldn’t turn up to an interview wearing ski gear, clutching a cocktail or with your pet dog. The key here is that the majority of people viewing your public profile will look at the picture first, making assumptions and judgements about you before even reading your headline experience.
Props can help to say more about who you are, for example maybe you could hold a camera if you are a photographer, or use an appropriate location background that speaks to your area of expertise. And you should also focus on how you dress. If your job requires a smart appearance then your profile shot should reflect this. If you work in a more relaxed environment then you can dress more casually, but still try to be as smart and well-dressed as possible. Avoid any logos on your clothing or slogans that could date, cause offence or generally give the wrong impression.
It is a very good idea to enlist the help of a professional photographer to take your profile shots for you. They will know how to take an impactful shot that captures you in the best light and creates the right impression. Although this may involve some financial outlay, it should be worth it. After all, as the old adage says “a picture tells a 1,000 words”. What does your profile picture say about you?