In the twenty-first century, there is no escaping the internet. Both job searching and dating have turned to the internet, creating an easier and more efficient way to meet new people and gain relationships. While there are many great benefits to this spike in online communication, there is one clear disadvantage: it is easy to judge a book by its cover. That is why you must consider using a professional profile photograph for your online platforms.
The Internet is so finely woven into our everyday lives that the only thing left to do is to give into it. Whether you are using it for research, connecting with peers or merely playing your favorite game, you are bound to use it more days than not. And as it continues to get smarter and more technologically advanced, there are even more ways to connect with people than ever. That is why it is such an essential tool for the most important part of our lives: creating meaningful relationships and making the right first impression.
Many can agree that it is much harder to present yourself in your true manner with a few pictures and a short description—although that does not mean it is impossible. All you need are a few tips—like the importance of a professional profile photograph—to enhance your social profiles and ensure they can out-perform the competition. Learn top tips for creating your most efficient online profile to ensure it represents you in a professional manner.
- Professional Photos for LinkedIn Profile
- LinkedIn Profile Examples and Best Practices
- Professional Photos for Online Dating
- Online Dating Profile Examples and Best Practices
While looks do not affect your qualifications for jobs, a sloppy profile can. If you cannot present yourself in a professional manner on the screen, then how can a company know if you will be professional in the work environment? Creating a professional profile may not seem like the most important detail when job searching, but it could be the difference in landing the job or not.
What many LinkedIn users fail to do is look at the bigger picture. It is not just one thing on their profile keeping them from standing out amongst competitors, it is everything—from the smallest of things like the length of their job descriptions to the biggest like their profile picture. When perfecting your profile, you need to make sure everything is working together in your favor. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when revamping your LinkedIn page.
- A professional profile picture is key. As the first thing any potential employer will see, your profile picture is one of the most important aspects to get just right. Making your profile picture stand out may not be easy on your everyday cellphone, but with a little help from a professional, you can get one that showcases your professionalism. Companies like Online Profile Pros make getting a professional headshot a breeze. Their network of professional profile photographers and profile writers across the United States and Canada make finding someone to help you with your online profile very simple.
- Use numbers up-front. An important tip for any job seeker—especially someone in analytics or financing—is to prove your abilities right away with compelling numbers. Companies love saving money, so if you know how to do it, show it.
- Get Personal. You do not need to share your deepest darkest secrets to the world, but including personal details about who you are as a person or why you love what you do can resonate with employers in all fields.
- Write a top-notch professional summary. While writing may not come naturally to everyone, there are some basic tips that can help you write a premium LinkedIn summary. Creating something that is attention-grabbing is crucial, but it should also summarize what you do and who you are as a person.
- No Selfie. Nothing says “I’m Unprofessional” than using a selfie for your LinkedIn profile photo. Even if you’re the most casual person and only want to work in casual workplaces, it’s better to make that first impression with something that is a bit more “put together” even if you need to get a buddy to shoot a photo of you on their phone and send it to you. However, people will judge you by your first impression, it might be better to invest in a professional profile photograph to make sure you’re sending the right message to people. We’re not suggestion you need to wear something formal or even a suit but you sure as heck want to stay away from a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops. The fact is the more professional you look the more serious people will take you …and when you’re looking for a job or to advance your career you definitely want to be taken seriously.
- Endorsements, endorsements, endorsements. Do we really need to explain? Have colleagues endorse you for specific skills can help you seem qualified for the job and show that you have made meaningful connections along your journey.
Now, you may be thinking about what looking professional has to do with dating applications. But, you may be surprised how much it actually does matter. Similar to LinkedIn, one of the first details someone will see about you is your profile picture—and, unfortunately, it may be the only details looked at. Because attraction is such a must on the list of date-able qualities, showing pictures that show your professionalism, along with your personality, allow you to stand out.
In a recent Stanford study, they found that a whopping 29% of heterosexual couples and 65% of homosexual couples had met online. That is proof that online dating is changing the game and how we fall in love entirely. So, if you are thinking about trying online dating, there are some tips you should know before slopping a profile together. All too often, men and women do not put enough time into their profiles, and the main culprit is their pictures. For every few swipes on a dating app, you are bound to run into overcrowded group shots, filtered selfies and plain out low-quality images. Nothing turns people off more than laziness, and that is what those pictures signify. Here are some top tips to consider when creating an online dating profile.
- Happiness is contagious. Everyone is attracted to happiness. It shows healthiness—both mentally and physically—and supplies everyone nearby with positivity. Happiness is shown in many different ways. From an energetic smile to a lively personality, they all affect how people see you. Your photo portfolio is usually made up of 2 distinct sections, your primary profile photo and your basic portfolio. Your primary dating profile photo is the one that everyone sees in the search results. It might be best to use your professional profile photograph for this part and more casual photos ( like from your cell phone) for some of the more basic photos. Do make sure to include some fill body shots in your basic portfolio. That does not mean that a professional photographer can’t take great casual shots for your portfolio, it just means that you want to make sure you get that all important primary dating photo nailed down before moving on to other basic photos. It’s important to make sure to include photos of yourself smiling and doing the things you love most in life. Remember, traveling is a go-to for online dating profile photos! But make sure that if you include a shot from far away—perhaps of you posing on a cliff—you have other pictures that better showcase your looks more closely, like a headshot. It is all about balance.
- Focus on the portrait first. Your primary profile photo is the first thing that people see once they do a search on an online dating site. Page after page of little thumbnails of people that are relatively close by and meet the search criteria. So how does one stand out in this sea of thumbnail images? You catch people’s eye by getting professional profile photos in order to create a great profile portrait as your primary image. It goes without saying that you should be clean and well groomed …that means get a haircut and wear makeup if appropriate. Your shot should be from the mid chest to about 3-4 inches above your head. Use Bokeh to make sure the focus stays on you specifically. Make sure the shot is well let and that your eyes are in focus. Yes, you should be smiling in your photos because a smile is welcoming and creates a positive vibe. You never want your photos to be too sexy or too quirky. They rarely do well because the other person does not have context to judge the photo…so they do not know if you’re trying to be funny or you’re just weird. Why take the chance when a simple good portrait has been proven to work so well? You can save the funny and sexy for when you actually meet the other person.
- Write more than a one-liner. Sure, that witty one-liner may get some laughs, but it is not going to show that you are a serious candidate. The best way to format your descriptions is to be honest and detailed about yourself. Start with a brief introduction—maybe include something that defines you as a person or inspires you to get up in the morning—then add your hobbies, interests, belief system or anything else that you think is important to share. If you open up, others will feel comfortable doing so as well.
- Ask a question. Sometimes the hardest part with online dating is starting the conversation. It might be even harder than deciding on your professional profile photo. So it is sometimes helpful to include a question in your profile summary so the conversation can get rolling quicker. “Where is your favorite vacation spot?” can turn into detailed story that you both enjoy. It also makes it much easier for people to connect and start communicating with you. A leading question can open all sorts of possibilities. However, it’s best to keep things lite and not get into anything too controversial like religion, politics or money. This is the equivalent of “cocktail party chat” that lets everyone participate while letting you get to know the other person. Besides talking about things that interest you can lead to some new revelations and a learning experience.
- Be authentic. One of the most challenging aspects of online dating is the risk of others not acting authentic. It is important to be yourself in your profile as well as your conversations so that if you do meet in person, you will both be on the same page about what to expect. Including information about your favorite things or what you are looking for in a partner will assist in this.
Tips for Capturing a Professional Profile Picture
There are a lot of dos and don’ts for dating site profile pictures, just as there are for LinkedIn and other career-building sites, but do not let that deter you. With a couple of easy tips, you can ensure that you are prepared for your professional profile photograph. Here are some important things to keep in mind before you get your professional profile photos taken.
- Get a good night’s sleep. There is nothing worse than booking a photo shoot appointment only to have sleep deprivation ruin the shot. From those pesky dark circles to profuse yawning, a lot can negatively affect how your picture turns out. Not only will you see the physical side effects, but you will also feel them mentally. Getting plenty of rest will ensure that you feel confident when you need it the most.
- Dress to impress. It is no secret that dressing well helps you feel well, but that is not the only reason dressing professionally is essential for you picture. While your picture will most likely be a close-up where only your shirt is showing, you may want a few other shots that capture the rest of your outfit. Be sure to wear an outfit that fits the job you are hoping to get. Dress pants and a blazer are a go-to outfit that many wear for their headshots.
- Pose appropriately. If you do choose to use a professional photographer for your professional profile photos, they should be able to assist you in the correct poses. Although, you may want to have one in mind in case the photographer is a little less hands-on. While a standard forward-facing smile is the classic style, you might want to try one a little more candid. Or, you may choose to have one of each for different occasions.
- Make sure to stay relaxed. As mentioned earlier, your mental state also affects your physical state. When you are confident and positive about an upcoming situation, it shows. Try not to get too worked up or stressed out about your upcoming photo shoot. Staying relaxed will help your facial expressions look more authentic so your headshots turn out perfectly.
An online profile is really now your only first impression and first impressions matter most. It can impact your career, relationships sales and deal flow. Please take a moment and invest in yourself and your future by taking your online profile seriously enough to consider getting professional profile photographs for LinkedIn or dating. In this world of interconnected networks people often do a little research on you be it straight on Google, LinkedIn or even Facebook to get a sense of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. It is best to present yourself as polished and professional. You want to be taken seriously whether it’s your career or your relationships and a professional profile photograph can help you in that regard.