7 Tips for an Awesome Profile Picture

7 Tips for an Awesome Profile Picture

These days, it’s more than likely that a recruiter will come across a picture of you when they are reviewing potential candidates on Jobboom or social media. Why not make sure that your photo aligns with how you want to be perceived professionally?

First impressions are extremely important during a job search. The photo you use on Jobboom and your social media profiles is often the first thing a potential employer notices about you, so it should go without saying that your chosen pic should show you at your best!

Here are 7 tips to follow to make sure your profile picture is awesome.

1. Make sure that your picture is the right size. Because you will probably have to resize or crop your photo in order to frame your face correctly, the picture you use should be a high enough resolution that it won’t pixelate once you’ve adjusted it.

2. Your photo should frame your face, and little else. A good profile picture will feature you in close-up, emphasizing your face and upper torso. Avoid letting the picture background take up too much space.

3. The image should be clear and clean. Is the picture too dark, or overexposed? Is it washed out? If so, find a better one. Always use a picture where the lighting and exposure is pleasing to the eye.

4. Use a picture where you are the only subject. Try not to crop a group photo to obtain a profile pic of yourself – you don’t want the edge of someone’s shoulder or head to make an appearance in your profile.

5. Be sure that your picture was taken in a professional context. Avoid using pictures taken on vacations, birthdays or at parties. The lighting in these situations is rarely good, and spontaneous pictures can come off as unprofessional.

6. Your face shouldn’t be obscured by sunglasses, hair or a hat. A good profile picture should allow an employer to associate a face with your name, so don’t hide yourself. You should be recognizable in your photo.

7. Use a real photo, not a drawing or other stylized image. Having an illustration or other artistic image as your professional profile picture can give the impression that you are inexperienced, have something to hide, or even that your account could be a fake.

How to take a high-quality photo

If you don’t have a picture readily available to use in your profile, you can either work with a professional photographer to get one, or even do it yourself. Today’s cell phone cameras can produce high-quality photos with little effort. Just make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Pay attention to the lighting. To create a more natural look, use daylight; artificial lighting appears “colder”. Avoid standing close to a window in your picture however, as this can cause reflections or other unwanted effects.
  • Choose a neutral background. Stand in front of a solid color or simple-patterned background, such as a brick wall. Don’t press your back to the wall – a little space will give some depth to your photo. Avoid including any furniture or wall decorations in your picture.
  • Wear professional clothing in the photo, as if you were attending a job interview.
  • If possible, have a friend take your picture. They will be able to get a good perspective and frame the shot correctly. Your pose will also appear more natural if you don’t have to take the photo yourself. Selfies rarely generate the professional results you’re looking for!

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