5 Profile Picture Mistakes Keeping You From Your Next Job

It’s time to scrap that awkward college photo

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Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram, recruiters are looking you up to put a face to your resume. You need a professional photo to best market yourself online. It humanizes you, and differentiates your real profile from Internet bots. To help you get that corner office, we reached out to Peter Hurley, a New York City-based photographer who actually wrote the book on professional photos, called The Headshot. Below are the five mistakes keeping you from your next gig.
 
(If you need help later on deciding what to wear at that great new job, here’s some inspiration.) 

1. You Don’t Have a Good Photo

Your profile picture is the cornerstone of your personal brand, Hurley says. If you don’t have a picture on, say, your LinkedIn page, you can bet HR is Google Image searching for one. Your fraternity involvement on your resume is great. Having that sloppy photo from the alumni tailgate represent you? Not so much.

2. You’re Wearing the Wrong Clothing

If you don’t wear a tie to work, don’t wear one in your photo. Keep your clothing simple—no fluorescent, zigzag sweaters—and in line with your everyday style. Most portrait photographers will let you bring multiple outfits, so you can find what really works for you while shooting.

3. Your Expression Is Off

The most common mistake in these: the expression. An ear-splitting grin will make you look fake and overeager. An ‘out-to-lunch’ blank stare is just as bad. Who wants to hire the guy with no personality? 
 
Skip the poses, and stick to a slight smile. Corporate guys can still strike a serious face, but adding just a hint of a grin will make you seem more welcoming and approachable.

4. Your Photo is Old as the Polaroid Camera

Profile pictures do not age like fine wine—just because you took a great shot back in 2007 doesn’t mean people will look past your highlights and popped collar. (Although you can get better looking with age—here’s how.) 
 
Hurley recommends updating it at least every two years, and after every time you majorly change your appearance. A stale picture can suggest you’re behind the times—a red flag in an innovation-heavy market.

5. Your Photo Has Poor Lighting Or a Bad Background

You want people to look at you—not whatever is going on behind you. Find a professional photographer whose work you like, and ask them for a solid background.
 
It’s important that this is professional, too. It’s great that your buddy has a cool Nikon, and offered to shoot your photo for free. But chances are, your friend doesn’t have the proper lighting equipment to prevent dark under-eye circles and sullen skin. Keep that photo for mom—and leave this one to the pros.

READ MORE BY DANIELLE FOX

Source: https://www.menshealth.com/style/headshot-mistakes

Hey, what happened to the top of my head?

HEADSHOT CROPPING EXPLAINED...

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To convey your personality, your headshot is all about your looks and your expression - i.e. your headshot is (should be) completely focused on your face. ...which is why I leave some of your hair (top of your head) out in my headshots.

Most often, professional headshots are used in a fairly small format (LinkedIn, Facebook, top of the corner of a resume, etc.) which leaves little room to actually show your expression and hence personality - furthermore, most of the time the headshot is viewed on a small-format screen (phone, tablet, etc.) which reduces the size your headshot (expression) even more.

So, in order to have enough room to actually show your personality in the image, something has to go - and since the information below your chin (what you're wearing) is more important than your hair, I crop the top of your hair out. Not a lot of it - but just enough to make the eyes sit almost directly on the upper third line of the image. Having your eyes placed here in the headshot draws immediate attention to them and - since most of your expression comes from your eyes - this strengthens the look of you and your personality.