Whether you have online profiles set up for social, business, or romantic purposes, the first opportunity to make an impression on each one is always the same. Your profile photo.
Because, although you may think that what’s written on your profiles is what matters, the truth is that many people may not even read the information you provide if your profile picture is not up to snuff. And in today’s competitive world, it’s vitally important to make sure that each aspect of your presence online is the best that it can be.
Are you wondering why exactly your profile photo matters so much, or how you can make yours stand out from the rest? Keep reading.
We have all the info you need right here. Let’s get started!
Take Advantage of Every Opportunity to Make a Good Impression
Simply put, a big part of the reason that good profile pictures are so important is that they’re a huge opportunity to make a good impression with your online audiences.
Think about it like this. You would never go to a job interview or a first date without taking some pride in your personal appearance, would you?
Your online profile photos are the same deal. When a prospective employer or partner checks you out online before meeting you, your profile photo will tell them everything they need to know– whether you like it or not.
Your Profile Photo Represents Both Your Brand and Your Personality
When we consider our online photos, we may just think of them as a representation of our personality. But did you know that we also each have a personal brand which we are putting forward at all times?
Although you may enjoy that photo your cousin took of you pretending to fall into a lake, is it really in line with the personal brand which you are striving for? Even on social platforms, this brand matters.
After all, we live in an age where prospective employers aren’t just checking our professional profiles. Some will perform a thorough search of social media profiles as well.
Would you choose a candidate with a polished, friendly, professional photo on each of their online platforms, or the one with a Facebook profile picture of them acting silly at a frat party ten years ago? The professional-looking candidate will win the job each and every time.
Why Photo Quality Matters
A grainy, pixelated, out-of-focus, or outdated photo will give the impression that you don’t have the motivation (or worse, intellect) to create or choose an appropriate option. This is just one of the reasons why a good profile picture is so very important for your online presence.
Take some time to vet each of your photos online to see if the picture quality is sharp and clear.
How to Take a Good Profile Picture
Wondering how to create the best profile picture for you? Check out these tips.
The Seven Key Elements that Create the Best Profile Pictures
Incorporate the following seven components to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward online.
- A smile that shows your teeth. Show off those pearly whites to create a friendly, inviting vibe in your photo.
- Clothing colors that contrast your photo background. This will help to make your photo visually pleasing and to keep the lines around your body clean.
- An angle that creates a shadow underneath your jawline. If you don’t have this shadow, the unique shape of your face will become lost.
- A photo frame that is either shoulder-up or waist-up. After all, nobody needs a full body shot.
- Smile with your eyes, too! Because if your mouth is smiling but your eyes are dead, you’ll look both unapproachable and fake.
- An asymmetrical framing. By placing yourself a little off-center in your profile photo, you will create a more interesting image for people viewing your online profiles.
- A simple set up. Steer clear of super busy photo shoot locations, or trying to get too creative and crazy with your clothing, hair, or makeup. You don’t want to incorporate anything that will distract from the most important thing- you!
The Five Elements to Avoid
Steer clear of the following five photo components, as they can come across as distracting or unprofessional.
- Sunglasses. Let the world see those smiling eyes!
- Hair in your face. That’s just not a good look.
- Laughing. You want to look happy, but not mid-laugh.
- Overtly sexual poses. Even for dating profiles, keeping it classy is the way to go.
- Hats. Don’t use anything that covers any part of your head.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
When you’re taking or selecting a profile photo to use online, here are a couple more helpful things to keep in mind.
Try to look as approachable as possible. Approachability is a very important element of making a good first impression.
Going for a youthful look is always helpful as well. Whatever makes you feel young and lively should be the photo that you select.
It’s Worth It to Ask for Help
As you can see, your online presence is extremely important. And this presence begins with your profile photos.
If you feel that you don’t have the wherewithal or equipment necessary to take a truly professional and top-quality picture, don’t stress! Invest in a professional photographer. Working with an experienced professional will help you feel and look your best!
Don’t let a subpar profile photo ruin your chances at a job, a date, or a good social reputation. Use the info and tips above to ensure that you are always putting your best foot forward.
Just remember that these photos are the first impression you are making on the web and that matters. Let your brand and personality shine through these pictures.