If you’re searching for a new job, considering a career change, or just want to shine professionally, you need to update your personal profile picture, and fast.
The world is going through financial contractions due to the coronavirus crisis that means competition for jobs, tough already, is only going to get tougher.
In Spain alone nearly 1.1 million jobs were lost in the second quarter of 2020. As they say in this El Pais article, “..a fall on this scale was not even seen during the worst periods of the financial crisis that began in 2008.”
So, no longer can you rely on a few hastily typed lines in your professional profiles and a picture that was taken on a beach after a few evening refreshments with the sun bouncing off your forehead.
The harsh truth is that people, and particularly recruiters in this context, make judgements based on your profile picture. Research shows that when recruiters view your Linkedin profile they spend 19% of their total time looking at your profile picture.
This isn’t to say that all recruiters are vain, image obsessed people, but rather they are making certain, sometimes unconscious, fast judgements on possibly hundreds of candidates, and you don’t want your image to be the reason you don’t land the role.
Judgements they are making:
- First impressions matter
- You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (A required lesson because people do)
- A picture speaks a thousand words
So, here are our top tips for taking a professional portrait photograph:
Use a professional photographer
This one is a no brainer. A professional photographer will look at you and know how to make you look your best. You will be lit well, have make up applied where necessary (I’m looking at myself and other shaved head guys here - we need to dull that shine!)
...and you will get great shots that you can use across all your online platforms.
Don’t be this person:
It need not be expensive either. You can get great portrait photography from €149 in Barcelona for example.
Seems simple right? You just turn the corners of your mouth up? But research shows that people trust, on average at double the rate, people who smile and show their teeth. So, show those gnashers they could land you that job.
Don’t wear sunglasses or squint
We are back to trust here and non-verbal communication. Studies show that sunglasses wearers have a 10% less likeability factor. If you cover your eyes with your hair, or there is some shadow across your face then your competency and influence scores go down as well. The eyes have it.
Dress well for your industry
This is context dependent. How do the leaders in your industry dress, check them out on Linkedin and work backwards. If you are in doubt then go a little more formal as studies show people will perceive you as 43% more competent than if you are wearing your favourite 1990’s band t-shirt and that shell necklace you bought on holiday. If you are a rock ‘n roll coder then different rules may apply but if you are using Linkedin, think about your best outfit.
Props are generally a no go
Posing with your beloved fur baby may work wonders on a dating profile but it just says ‘weird’ on a professional profile, unless you're a vet or a dog walker, so think neutral backgrounds, colour can work based on your skin tone and available light.
If you need some help updating your personal profile picture then don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us down below.
Phil is the storyteller at Takeaway Content. He is a writer, journalist & lawyer and the guy who will use word magic to entrance and engage your customers.
Wendy is the project manager at Takeaway Content. Fluent in English, Spanish and French, she is really easy to talk to and she's an expert in content strategy.