Your social media profiles are not to be treated with a light heart when you are looking for a job. Your Facebook profile picture is one of the elements that compose your social media presence, so why would someone ignore it?
Think of social media like this. A parallel universe that exists in another dimension but we can also affect it by making the right decisions and taking action in our universe.
We are going to take a look at the ways your Facebook profile picture and your social media, in general, affect your job search. Keep reading to learn what mistakes you should avoid.
First, Let’s Address the Elephant in the Room
In case you were wondering, yes. Employers do use Facebook to screen applicants when a position is open. Even if that seems obvious, here’s a state for you: last year, a study conducted by Ghent University threw some light on the matter.
Researchers asked a committee of 200 people to rate portraits for their levels of attractiveness and personality traits. For the record, a photo of a smiling man against a blue sky background was voted the most attractive one.
After that, the academics sent fake applications to actual employers who were hiring at the moment. They had already created Facebook profiles for the phony applicants and they only made the profile picture publicly visible.
The findings were outstanding.
“The candidate with the most favorable Facebook profile picture received approximately 21% more positive responses to his application in comparison to the candidate with the least favorable profile picture. The difference in the chance to be immediately invited to a job interview even amounted to almost 40%,” Professor Stijn Baert, author of the study, said.
So, we were right all along. A wrong Facebook profile picture can send the wrong message.
But What Can You Do?
You can’t change the way you look. Of course, we are talking about a Facebook profile which you can edit in Photoshop and everything. But, at the end of the day, you just can’t look like a stranger.
After all, taking a great Facebook profile picture does not just mean that you need to look attractive or hot. There is a whole science behind it.
Not surprisingly, there is another study which focuses just on Instagram filters. Researchers from Canva found out what makes the perfect Insta-shot depending on which filters Instagrammers use the most and which ones draw the most likes.
In the US, the most popular filters were (in order of preference):
In a global aspect, the first place did not change. The others did. Here are the world’s top five best Instagram filters according to Canvas:
- X-Pro II
Regarding selfies, which we should focus on, the most popular filter was not a filter at all. It was “Normal.” This alone creates a great first tip for a Facebook profile picture that will get you hired as soon as possible:
Tip #1: Be Natural
You don’t want your potential employer to see a photo of you and see a bunch of filter layers before they can even look at your face. Avoid the temptation to use too many filters. They will make the photo look amateur, and the employer will not be able to look at the real you.
Don’t over-Photoshop yourself when you are getting rid of a zit or a mark on your face. You need to show to the HR managers who the person who sent that application is.
Don’t forget that they will have the chance to see you in person if you get an interview.
Tip #2: Have a Neat, Clean-Cut Appearance
Being natural doesn’t come with looking messy. You need to take care of your appearance and make sure that you look like a million bucks.
Have a haircut, fix your hair, put your professional-looking clothes on, and don’t be afraid to wear some make-up. Even if you are a guy, a little bit of powder never hurt anybody.
Again, you don’t have to over do it. There is a fine line between looking neat and looking “too much.” Don’t wear a suit but don’t wear a t-shirt with a marijuana stamp either. Do wear makeup but don’t try to make a statement.
Of course, all of the tips above depend on the job position and the role you are applying for. What you need to keep in mind is that, first and foremost, you need to look professional.
Tip #3: Take Care of Your Lighting
Lighting can either upgrade or totally ruin a portrait photo. When you are updating your Facebook profile picture, make sure you take care of the lighting and use it to your advantage.
Examine your face, see which side is your good one, and throw more light at it. Avoid shadows on your skin and, when a professional lighting set is not an option, go outside and use the sun as your main source.
This guy eliminates excess wrinkles, skin pores, and spots in an instant.
Tip #4: A Facebook Profile Picture Can Give Positive Vibes
Yes, a picture can give positive vibes and make the person looking at it smile or even want to hire you.
Avoid black and white photos (unless they are taken by a professional) and dark backgrounds. Smile like you mean it and be as much charming as possible.
Again, good lighting is essential to make a photo look “positive.” Sharp, dark edges and shadows will only make you look aggressive. Light up your face and the area under and above your eyes to look friendlier and happier.
Tip #5: Hire a Professional
We know what you are thinking. This is just a Facebook profile picture and nobody should put so much effort into it. We agree but, when this profile picture can land you a job, hiring a professional is something to consider.
Like it or not, a professional photographer can make you look like you are the right fit for any position in many different ways:
- They will advise you on how to pose.
- They know how to make you look more attractive just by shooting at the right angle.
- They will edit your pictures for you.
- They have all the professional equipment needed.
- They will advise you on your styling, wardrobe, and makeup.
How do we know? Well, this is what we do! So, make sure you take a look at our packages and choose the one that best matches your needs. We’ll make sure you get that offer!