We’ve all heard it before: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression!” It’s so true. Since humans are visual creatures, our first impressions are made with our eyes. This is the case with everything in our lives, anywhere from simply ordering food, to dating, or to purchasing a home. This applies even more online in the social-media world. In today’s digital age, social-media profiles are increasingly important in building your identity. It is very rare that you meet someone who doesn’t have a Facebook profile, LinkedIn Professional profile, Twitter account or some type of dating profile. With all of these profiles, the main focal point is the profile picture and that serves as the “first impression”. With that being the case, it is vital that you invest in yourself with a professionally created headshot and photography to use in all aspects of your social-media life.
Another one we have all heard before is “A picture is worth a thousand words”. In the case of your profile picture, this is true as well. Especially with LinkedIn, the profile picture or lack thereof could make or break your chances at getting an interview for a job. LinkedIn statistics show that people are 11 times more likely to be viewed and considered for the job if they have a photo. If you don’t have a photo as a part of your social-media profile, people will assume the worst. Thats exactly what you don’t need.
Imagine that you are on a dating site and you found what you considered to be the perfect person for you, but they don’t have a photo. Would you believe what their profile said about them? Would you believe that they were the tall attractive blond that they described themselves as or some extremely unattractive person who is too afraid to put their real selves out there? Now imagine that you are an employer or a recruiter that was sent a LinkedIn resume to view. You read the resume and it seems extremely impressive, but there is no profile picture. Are you going to believe what the resume says? Don’t make the huge mistake of not having a photo on your profile – and don’t make the mistake of posting the WRONG picture. If “A picture is worth a thousand words” you want your profile picture to say what you’re worth!
It’s very important to have professional head shots taken to use on your LinkedIn profile. Since the picture is the first impression that you can give to the employer/recruiter, it needs to be the best. Your professionalism is reflected in the quality of the image, the degree of welcome in your expression and the overall “energy” you exude. Special attention ought to be paid to the selection of your pose, wardrobe and facial expression. A thoughtful, pleasing portrait instantaneously enhances you, pulls people in and motivates them to learn more about you. A poorly composed, pixilated or unflattering photo will quickly deflate visitors to your page. An effective headshot conveys trust and facilitates connection. Make a strong first impression with a profile photo that represents the Big Picture. Choosing the right photo enhances your brand, and provides a face and voice for the words on your profile. Never use photos of you with your family or pets–save that for your Facebook albums, not your profile picture.
It’s also smart to use your headshot or an image of yourself on your advertising materials such as business cards, newspaper ads, billboards or brochures. The reason why is that prospects, customers and colleagues enjoy doing business with people they can relate to and feel like they know. A smiling realtor’s face on business cards and fliers is one way they try to build trust and like-ability – and paves the way for very large purchases. This goes for any business. You can never go wrong with investing in professional photography… It could change your life!