9 Business Profile Picture Rules That Every Professional Should Follow

business profile picture

Thinking about getting new business profile photos? Good idea!

With so many online job-search sites, having a completed profile is essential. A strong, professional headshot is a huge part of that since it’s the first thing people will see when they click on your page.

Raise your chances of finding the right job by making sure your profile has the right image. Here are 9 rules to make sure you have a great business profile picture.

What Does Your Profile Photo Say About You?

Actual Photo Analysis Results:

Age: 42
Ethnic: Black/ African descent
Attraction: 9.96 out of 10
Emotion: Happy
Results: Great Dating Photo


Avoid Head Tilts

A photo is the first thing people will see when they look at your profile. It should grab their attention in the right way and convey a confident and assertive person; someone ready to tackle the work ahead.

When you tilt your head to the side, it can look strange. It will instantly make you look inquisitive and unsure. A straight on photo conveys conviction whereas a tilted one may convey insecurity or confusion.

Many times, people will tilt their head to one side in a photo to show they’re relaxed and easy going in nature. It can feel like a more organic or natural pose than keeping your head straight on. This tactic works in other places but in a professional setting, communicates the exact opposite of what you’re trying to get across.

There are still ways to look relaxed and at ease in a photo without a head tilt. It will be all about your facial expression which we’ll get to later in this post.

Be the Only Person in the Photo

This should go without saying but you’d be surprised to know how many people post photos with friends, family, and pets as their business profile picture. For starters, if you’re posting with a friend or family member, you’ll have anyone looking at the photo wondering which person you actually are.

Take out the guesswork and post a photo where you’re the only subject. As far as posting with pets; sure, they’re cute and it shows a fun side to your personality. But again, this is a professional photo so you want to keep it simple and straightforward.

Keep It Current

If your profile says you graduated from college 10 years ago and you select a photo of you in front of your fraternity house, people will know it’s old. You want to keep your photo as up-to-date as possible, hopefully, one taken within the last year.

You want to present a realistic version of yourself. If you have an interview or meet potential business contacts in person but look drastically different than you did in your photo, you’re already off to a rocky start.

They’ll wonder why you weren’t current and honest about how you look now. Post a photo that is truthful and representative of who you are today.

Stay in Focus

There’s no way around it, posting a blurry photo looks completely unprofessional. With the access to technology and phone cameras that are even better than some real cameras, there’s no excuse for a poor quality photo.

If you post a photo that’s out of focus, it will inevitably become a distraction for people looking at your profile. They’ll be busy wondering why you posted such a poor quality photo instead of reading the rest of your profile and gathering information necessary to see if they want to work with you.

Even if a photo is slightly out of focus, move on and find another one. Don’t give any potential employers reason to click away from your page.

Wear Something Professional

This photo is for your business profile so it’s important to look professional regardless of the field you’re in. Make sure your clothing fits well and appears clean and ironed. Putting on a suit that’s completely wrinkled isn’t helping you.

Aside from looking clean and professional, you’ll want to avoid really bright colors or patterns as they can become distracting and take away from your face and expression. You don’t want the clothing to be the center of the show, they’re simply there to enhance your photo.

Try wearing neutral colors like black, grey, white and navy. You can add pops of color to show your personality, just keep it simple everywhere else. Regardless of your gender, be sure not to show too much skin. It can be just as distracting as too much color.

What you wear in a photo should be the same thing you would select if going in for an interview or to a business meeting.

Look Approachable

Now we’re getting into your facial expression. This matters more than you realize because it tells more about you and your personality than anything else in the photo. To cut straight to it; you want to look friendly and approachable but still professional.

This may seem counterintuitive and have you wondering how you’re supposed to look fun and friendly but still corporate. It can be done. A simple smile and relaxed posture indicate that you’re affable and friendly but still mean business.

Be careful not to smile too big, it can seem odd for a professional photo. You may want to consider a soft smile that doesn’t show your teeth. It looks strong and confident but friendly all at the same time.

Don’t Go Full Body

This one’s easy. Don’t post a full body picture, mainly for the reason that you’ll appear too small and far away. The main point is to glean a little personality from your facial expression and showing a full body picture takes away from that.

On most sites, people will first see a thumbnail version of your photo. That’s a small version in which a full body photo would appear even smaller.

Avoid the Real World

So you love to go to the beach, you climbed Mount Fuji and won that hot dog eating contest last month. Great! You don’t need to show it in your profile photo. Avoid pictures where you’re doing activities, traveling or are not in a professional setting.

First of all, your attire is likely less than professional in those moments and those pictures are more likely to be blurry, bad quality, and have distracting elements in them like a weird background or even other people.

Keep your background simple and neutral so it doesn’t take away from the photo.

Always Have a Photo

When in doubt, always have a photo up on the site. When people come across your profile, a lack of a photo signals to them you didn’t take the time to thoroughly complete the profile and may even have them wondering if you still use the site at all.

People respond to visuals and love to connect names and resumes to images of real people, especially if it’s someone they may be working with closely. Don’t leave this area blank!

Get Started on Your Business Profile Picture Today!

Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of professional photos, get working on your next business profile picture now. Keep these tips in mind when selecting a shot and get ready for how much business your updated profile attracts.

We’d love to help you maximize your online profile. Visit our site for more information, and don’t hesitate to contact a personal branding expert if you need more guidance.

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