The Art of the Profile Pic

28 Oct

We often hear that a picture is worth a thousand words. In the world of social media, a profile picture is everything in shaping people’s first impressions.

Our profile pics define the way people and companies form their first impression of us before ever physically meeting us. In some cases, this aspect of social media can cost you a job interview or job offer.

As a college student and soon-to-be job searcher, your Facebook profile becomes a medium where companies can evaluate if you are ready to enter the work force, even within the confines of cyberspace.

A defining feature of a profile that evokes a positive and professional image is the profile pic, and here are some simple tips to help create a strong first impression:

  • Have a profile pic.  Profiles that lack a corresponding picture give the impression that you are shutting yourself off from everyone. Do yourself a favor and show the world you have a face to go along with your name.
  • Non-professional pictures are sometime best.  Having your photo taken with a couple friends most likely puts you in a comfortable situation where you can be yourself. You want companies to see the person they would see everyday in the workplace.
  • Avoid large group photos.  Although these pics can show off the networks you affiliate with, people may be annoyed trying to figure out which person in the picture is you. Put the focus of the profile pic on yourself!
  • Ensure an appropriate setting.  You don’t want to show off pics that place you in situations that companies may find compromising to your professional image. You can have fun, but don’t allow yourself to get “tagged” in party settings, in particular.

Following these tips in no way guarantees you a job at your dream company, but selecting an effective profile pic also doesn’t give companies a reason to cut you from their application list.

by Joe Manavalan 

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3 Responses to “The Art of the Profile Pic”

  1. Jeff Lin November 1, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    A proper Facebook profile is definitely relevant in today’s job market. Survey’s that have been conducted suggest that over 90% of companies now check your Facebook! This number has been increasing dramatically in the last couple of years. Also, you mentioned having your profile picture with several friends but also cautioned against having too many people in the picture. What do you suggest is a good compromise?

    Jeff

  2. Shiv Bery November 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Joe,

    I enjoyed your blog post and never thought about the effect that a profile picture could have. For example, I did not even think about the implications of a profile picture with friends versus one on my own. Did you think about these effects on your own or was there an article to go along with your ideas?

    Shiv

  3. Adam Solomon November 7, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    Hey Joe,

    I like that you pointed out that a great profile picture and an appropriate Facebook page can actually help. Usually, people only point out the negatives of inappropriate Facebook use but fail to mention that one’s Facebook page can be an asset.

    Also, your post made me realize that currently, there is a very thin line between business and personal. Although I created my Facebook page to connect with my friends and family, potential employees are also looking at my page.

    -Adam

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