A professional social profile without a nice headshot photo of you hurts you much more than the lack of one helps you find a job or avoid discrimination. There are five important reasons to have a good headshot photo visible in your profile
To be successful today, most professional jobs require knowledge and skill with social media. Profiles without photos are usually either not very active or just plain out-of-date. And, very few employers want to hire someone who is so demonstrably clueless.
In addition, many “spam” social profiles exist to sell products or services or to collect information. Those fake profiles usually either have no photo or the photo is obviously a model or someone extremely attractive in a very professional-looking photo. Recruiters, in particular, don’t want to waste their time with fictional people.
Someone who already knows you from your past, other social media, or a recent networking meeting will, hopefully, recognise that photo and know who you are. Also, that friend from your last job (or the job before that) who is looking for you will find you in the long list of people who have the same — or a very similar — name.
Someone who follows you in other social networks will find, and probably follow, you in new social networks. So, the reach of your social media visibility will be expanded and connected, and your “social proof” will be strengthened.
4. Personal Appeal
Any profile is more appealing when a person’s face is associated with it. LinkedIn has said that entries in LinkedIn search results with photos beside them are seven times more likely to be clicked than entries without photos. So, that recruiter looking for someone with your job title will probably not click on your name unless there is a photo beside it in the search results listings.
5. Personal Branding
When used with your professional activities in social media, your photo represents your brand — your personal logo — particularly when you use the same photo for all of your professional social visibility.
So what makes a successful profile photo? Remember your profile photo is a marketing tool for you so be selective when choosing the photo to use for your professional social profiles. Some points to consider:
- Use a head shot photo of yourself, not something or someone else.
- The image should be recognisably you.
- The pose should be relatively “grown-up” — not mugging for the camera.
- Use a photo with a relatively business-like pose.
- No pets or children or other distractions should be in the photo.