Updated: Aug 26, 2019
Is there really a right profile picture for your social media account? Well, let's find out.
I've talked to a lot of recruiters and CEOs so far and although this topic seems irrelevant, I have learned some honest opinions about the profile pictures that people share on their social media accounts, especially on LinkedIn. They all agree upon one fact: Your profile picture is the first impression you make.
Choosing the right photo can strengthen your professional brand or allow you to be noticed more quickly for a job (not to be confused with the resume picture, that doesn't attract so much attention from a recruiter), because in both cases you make a good impression. People would like to give you a business or a job because you gain credibility and people want to collaborate/work with you, as strange as that thought may seem.
Here are some of my tips regarding the right profile picture:
1. Choose a current picture of yourself: If you meet business partners or future employers, they won't be surprised to see an older person than the one shown in the profile picture.
2. Choose the dress code according to the industry: Not everyone has to wear a suit and tie in these pictures - artists would probably not choose a corporate outfit.
3. Try not to exaggerate your facial expression: Forced big smiles aren't trustworthy - be true to yourself, everyone knows you don't laugh like that all day.
4. Choose a neutral background: Remember that you are the main focus and viewers should not be distracted by the background. And trust me, no one cares about the buildings, wedding guests, girlfriend/wife, boyfriend/husband or pets behind you.
5. Take a portrait photo: Don't crop your picture from a group because it loses its clarity and you lose the viewers’ focus on yourself because they will be intrigued by the context.
In my industry, IT recruitment, it is important to make a good impression as an entrepreneur and to strengthen your image as a reliable business partner. On the other hand, IT specialists are resourceful personalities and some prefer to take creative profile pictures, so we're all used to it and don't label them the wrong way - it’s all about the industry.