Fun Fact: After conducting several interviews with our users, we learned that many people will opt not to contact or respond to messages from someone if they do not have a profile picture.
- You have control over the photos that you upload of yourself online, so use this to your benefit and make sure you are not choosing images you will be embarrassed about, later on. Also, remember that your photo is key to your personal brand. How do you want to be perceived professionally?
- Update your profile picture at the beginning of every year as a way of showing that you are active on-site and your account is up to date.
- Make it a photo of your face. People want to see who they are talking to and who they are potentially allowing into their personal space. Remember to smile!
- Frame your face. Be sure you are not standing too close or too far away from the camera. It is important to make sure that your face is properly framed so that people can only see you and a bit of your background. Your face should be the focal point of the shot!
- Use a simple background. Your face should be the focal point of your photo. Make sure you have a simple background, like a solid coloured wall, and tidy up! Employers will take your surroundings as a reflection of your work, and you do not want them to see piled-up dishes behind you.
- Contrasting colours are important. You do not want to blend into your background. Remember, you want to be the main focus of your photo. Plan to wear something in your photo that will stand out against your background.
- Do not use filters! Your profile photo should genuinely reflect who you are and look your most authentic, filters do not do that.
- Take more than one photo. It may take more than one shot to get the perfect profile photo, take several and then compare. Be patient.
- Get a second opinion. When choosing which photo to use as your profile photo, try consulting with a friend. We tend to get wrapped up and overwhelmed when trying to decide on the best image of ourselves; friends may be better at choosing an image that looks most similar to us in real life and can relieve some of the pressure of getting the perfect photo if photography is not your strong suit.
- Ask a friend to be your photographer. Having a friend comes in handy when it comes time to take a professional photo of yourself for your profile! Discuss what it is you are trying to achieve with your photo, and rely on them to provide some direction.
If you prefer to take a photo on your own, or do not have anyone to lend a hand with right now, don't worry! You can use the timer on your phone or camera, and prop it up on a flat surface or tripod to get that perfect shot.
Whatever you do, try not to hold the camera at arm's length and point it at yourself to take your profile picture, or take a mirror selfie. This is not professional!