Tips For Selecting Your Profile Picture

Your profile picture is just as important as your writing, if not more so. This is your first impression.  Most of your clients will be people you never get to see face to face. 

Your profile picture is how they know you.  What do you want that picture to say? Did you even realize it made such an impact?

Picking a profile picture should be intentional and depict how you want others to see you.  It is important to send the right message. Below are some tips on how to make sure your profile picture gets you taken seriously.

Make sure you stand out

You want the client to see you, to get a feel of who you are.  Be alone in the picture. You won’t stand out if the client doesn’t know who you are.

It’s not the time to show off your friends. Make sure the background of the photo is not too busy, you don’t want the client to be distracted. Also, it is important that your face takes up most of the frame. 

Profile pictures should be headshots, or pictures with minimum body visibility. Choose a picture that looks like you too.  You are selling yourself, so you need to make sure the client sees you.

Play photographer and get your selfie on

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take a great picture.  You can learn to take a great pic, just get your selfie on.  Take lots of pics of yourself from different angles and with different lighting.  You will figure out what works and what doesn’t work. 

Make sure that the lighting is good enough that there isn’t a shadow casted on your face. Keep playing with the camera until you get a friendly, professional profile picture.

You want to stand out, but don’t overdo it

Your professional profile picture is not the vessel to use to take a stand or try something different.  Everybody wants to be unique, but your business profile picture should not be too edgy. You don’t want to turn somebody off before they have even read your work. 

Remember, a picture says a thousand words.  Offended clients translate into lost hires.  You and the client don’t have to have the same life views to work together.  Most of your interaction will quite likely be very impersonal anyway. 

Why risk losing jobs over personal stances when you will never talk about these things with your clients.  Keep it strictly business.

Smile

This shouldn’t have to be said, but there are plenty of unwelcoming profile pictures circulating in the business world….or pictures that are just way too serious.

It really is that simple, just smile.  You have a better chance of getting a job if you look friendly.  You want to make people want to work with you. Your profile picture is the only thing on the page that isn’t wring, you want it to be as good as it can be. 

Make sure to smile and let clients know you’re friendly and pleasant to work with.  You want your picture to show that you are both professional and trustworthy. Look at your picture and ask yourself, honestly, if you would want to work with you.

Grade school your profile picture

Remember how your parents put such importance on your school pictures? Well, you should treat your professional profile picture the same way.  Put your best self forward in your pic.  Make sure that in your photo you look clean and well put together. 

Check that your hair is well groomed.   Men should be fresh shaven or trimmed.  Women should avoid heavy makeup and accessories. It’s also probably a good idea to take it easy the day before pictures.  It’s best to keep your picture up to date and polished.

A great profile picture is a key component to achieving success in the online job market. Don’t miss out on work because your picture isn’t up to par.

It is only human nature for the eye to rush to the profile picture and make a judgement immediately.  As soon as the client sees your picture, they make their first choice about you. They decide whether to read your proposal or not.  Make sure your first impression is a good one.  Make them look further. 

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