7 ways to ensure your social media profile photos help your job search

by Stephanie Osborne candidate, candidate advice, Professional and Technical...

Profile photo

With social media now a big part of our daily lives, you also need to consider how you are presented as part of your job search. One thing that is guaranteed is that potential employers and recruiters will search for you online. So THE most important aspect of any social media profile that is open to being viewed is having a suitable profile picture that you are happy for employers and recruiters to view. So, what kind of photograph should you be using when you are looking for a new job?

Here are our 7 tips to guarantee that your online profile is giving the right impression:

1.Choose a photo that works across all the social media you use

This is quite possibly the most important thing to remember. Whilst LinkedIn is a social media network, it is most definitely not the same sort of profile as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, so photographs suitable for those are generally not going to impress on LinkedIn. A selfie is one thing, but make sure the picture is professional!

2.No group shots

Your profile is exactly that: yours! You want to make it clear who you are, if your photo is of a group of people, it might give the impression that you are more inclined to disappear in the crowd. It is good to show that you are comfortable with in a group, but there’s a time and place to do this, and your professional profile picture is not it.

3.Think about what else is going on in the photo

If there is a distracting background, the focus will likely be taken from you. If this is going to be the case, make sure it is for the right reasons. If the photograph is of you volunteering at a charity event, make sure that this is clear and not confusing so that it sends the right message. Your profile picture doesn’t necessarily have to echo a passport photo with completely blank surroundings, but if there are other things going on, make sure they are things that you would be comfortable discussing with a future employer.

4.What are you wearing?

This once again comes back to how you want employers to view you. It is important to remember that you don’t necessarily have to be wearing a suit, but you still want to maintain some level of professionalism. A lot of people will opt for a photo where they are in formal dress as it automatically strikes a tone, but it isn’t the only way to achieve an ‘employable’ look, and not necessarily relevant if you do not wear a suit to work!

5.Say cheese!

Everyone warms to people who look friendly, and the simplest way to achieve this in a photograph is with a smile. Let’s face it, would you really want to hire someone who is scowling? Or worse still, duck-facing selfie-style?

6.Make sure what they see is what they get

Ideally, your photo should be a recent one, taken no longer than 18 months prior to your application. If the person that turns up to the interview looks completely different, this could potentially lead to some very awkward questions!

7.Consider the roles you are applying for

This goes beyond the photo but is worth a mention. When viewing your profile photo and reading your CV, your employer will automatically begin to imagine how you will fit into their team. Whatever types of role you are applying for, make sure that every aspect of your profile/CV gives the right impression.

Hope this advice helps and good luck in your job search!