Online Profiles: Are you Putting Your Professional Face Forward?

 

Do you have an online professional profile? Did you spend hours crafting your bio, sharing exciting details of your job history, and highlighting all of your skills and accomplishments to showcase your unique and amazing career journey?

Of course you did. Because you want to do everything you can to impress and engage future employers and business prospects.

Including, selecting the PERFECT profile picture to match, right?

When you go on an interview or make a work presentation, don’t you put a little extra time into “looking the part?” Maybe it’s selecting the right “business-ware,” or making sure every hair is in place, or even having an extra flossing session to eliminate any remnants of lunch from your pearly whites.  Whatever it is – you go the extra mile to look your best professional self.

Shouldn’t the same rule apply to your professional profile picture – the face of your brand?

It should, but lately I’m seeing a lot of this, instead:

  • The photo of you and your significant other drinking alcoholic beverages in bathing suits, lounging on a tropical beach;
  • The awkward photo of you in your favorite holiday “ugly sweater” posing with your cat in front of the Christmas Tree;
  • The “head-shot,” with the angle focused mostly on your cleavage in your best plunging -V;
  • The shirtless, I work out, look at my abs photo;
  • A photo of your dog;
  • And, the up-close selfie photo (of only half your face) with uncombed hair, and a swamp on a dreary day, as your backdrop.

You laugh, but these are all real-life examples that I come across EVERY day. 

Maybe you think that a hiring manager or business connection will think that you are “cool,” or “real”, or have a really fun(ny), well-rounded personality. Or maybe you really, truly don’t have another photo.  Either way – it’s time to change it. ASAP. 

There are many other platforms where will get you a ton of “likes” on this stuff. Facebook, Instagram, Match.com….but, this is not the place.

Frankly Speaking: Profile pictures bring life to your online presence. They put a face with a name, and offer another window into who you are. They enhance your profile and complement all of your of your big successes and ambitions. Your professional profile picture doesn’t have to be a perfect headshot taken by an amazing photographer, but it should be a clean-cut, apropos, well-manicured, shot of you. You don’t have to be in your “Sunday Best,” but at least sport a nice-looking, well-put together outfit (that covers most of your body parts), with a pleasing backdrop, and a nice smile. So, when you show up for your interview or business meeting, the other person will be able to easily recognize you….and maybe feel like they already sort of “know” you- for the right reasons.

Remember, as Will Rogers (and many Head & Shoulders commercials) so wisely remind us, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

 

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