Callosum talks about the importance of face-to-face communication. A first impression is easy to make and hard to fix if you stumble. Did you know there’s an insider’s pre-first impression? It’s your online profile photo.
Consider this, you have two identical-qualification resumes in front of you. Both come highly recommended. One of the two will be hired. How do you decide whom to hire? Many people go research online for hiring, networking and reference purposes. If you don’t have a photo, you’ve just lost the competition. You’re invisible.
Play along. When you see these photos: What do you think s/he does? How does s/he make you feel? Would you hire her/him? Would you like to meet her/him?
These photos are two colleagues with excellent (LinkedIn) images – both online and off. A photo introduces you to the viewer through your personality – it’s the HUMAN side of your brand… the personal brand. Studies show we engage with faces much more powerfully than data.
An online presence is a powerful tool. To use it, before attending an event, ask the organizer for an attendee list of names or read the guest list. Take the time to look up the guests online. Perhaps you’ll have common colleagues, fellow alumnae or have lived in the same city. Who in the room will you interested in meeting? Who can you help? The commonalities you find are icebreakers, which allow you connect on a personal level. A business conversation following a human connection is far more powerful that laying your elevator speech directly after a handshake.
What does your photo say about you? To create an online photo presence that represents you well:
- Reader must see the color of your eyes
- No distractions in background – solid background is best
- Wear a bright memorable color (blouse, tie or background)
- Gauge your personality – e.g. He looks quirky… fun…. energetic
- Feel your energy – e.g. warm, inviting, sincere
- Sharply focused and cropped intentionally
- Cropped for fit website shape (Most are square)
- Avoid avatars unless you’d like people to think you’re a cartoon character.
- Place consistently across social media channels – e.g. Linked In, Twitter, Facebook).
Homework: Schedule a photo shoot. Polish yourself with a crisp haircut/color and a signature solid color blouse, solid dress shirt or tie. Get a good night’s sleep and ladies put on your best make-up. Ask for digital images at high-resolution so you may crop per need.
Interested in shooting with us? Callosum offers occasional headshot promotions with our favorite photographer. Post your comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org for our next shoot date and rates. Is your Linked In photo showing YOU in your best light – the light of your personality?
(Thanks to Philippe and Noeleen for the gift of your photos and the great YOU.)