Keeping It Professional

Every social media account has a user profile and generally always has a request for an image to accompany your profile. Mostly this image would be of yourself, unless it was a business profile and then you would have the option of using your company’s logo to fill the space. But how exactly do you filter through your favorite head shots to pick the best one to represent yourself to the online community? It can be tricky, especially when potential new bosses are on the hunt or a new group of consumers are browsing through profiles. This image is ultimately the face of your business and resume; it is the first point of contact and needs to establish a professional presence.

A head shot should just be exclusively of you. Most of the time you don’t want to be perceived as “too serious” and think including a photograph of you having a laugh with mates will give a better representation and insight into your personality. Use the content space to be creative and show your personality through your words. Also be savvy with your online behavior. Show your interests through pages you “like” and who you follow on twitter, not through your profile picture.

Be wary of the background. Even though it may be a great shot of you, possible inappropriate behavior may be occurring in the background. Most photographers generally focus in on their subject and out of focus on the space around the object, creating a haze. Having a simple background won’t be distracting or overpowering to the foreground image of you.

Remember this is first impressions, make sure the photograph is clear and you are able to see  your face without having to squint. Make sure there is enough lighting so you are visible and your features are distinct. A picture can say a thousand words; it can be indicative of personalities and imply personal vibes. Regardless of how serious your company is or how highly ranked, smile. Be inviting and approachable. Make sure it’s genuine. A forced smile is easy to spot. You don’t have to be photogenic, just believable.

Present yourself at your best and make sure you are happy and content with your profile photo. Make sure it compliments you and your profile. Remember this is part of your own marketing campaign to build an online presence. Be smart and conscience about the affect it can have on the right people.