What’s your current profile photo telling employers? If it’s not truly representative of you and your skills, let me leverage good points for you with a new headshot! More than 90% of employers are recruiting through social media, including LinkedIn, with recruiters spending around six seconds per LinkedIn profile—and 19% of that time looking at the profile picture. The last thing you want is to be passed on because you don’t look the part.
Princeton researchers have found that people form an impression of you from your photo in 1/10 of a second. If you want the job, you have to look the part. Recruiters connect with this instantly, and only then will they give your skills and credentials the full weight they deserve.
You spend hours perfecting your cover letter, cutting your resume down to fit on one page (without resorting to using an eight-point font), and prepping for the most common interview questions, so it’s easy to believe that these are the three most important components to recruiters. And, while recruiters do spend quite a lot of time evaluating these items, more than 90% of them are now making their first impressions of applicants through social media accounts.
What does this mean for you? Besides making yourself a desirable candidate through cover letters, resumes and interviews, you should pay just as much attention to how you’re visually presented on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
And this doesn’t just apply to people looking for corporate jobs either. Small business owners, such as myself, rely on word-of-mouth as much as we do feeling connected with people who visit our sites. That’s why it’s so important to have updates photos in our About Me sections. Potential clients are, technically, “employers” looking to hire us. So while we may not have resumes and cover letters, our About Me sections are essentially just that.
Every person has 43 distinct facial muscles. There are seven universal facial expressions: happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, contempt and disgust. When you begin to mis these facial expression together, the human face can make more than 10,000 slightly different expressions. Now add matters of dress, grooming, light, camera angles and camera distortion/editing to this complication of microexpressions, and you see how every photo tells a unique story.
So, how can you get a winning profile photo? First, hire a professional. Us pros know what we’re doing when it comes to posing, lighting, angles and editing. And we also take into consideration these other important details:
- Don’t obstruct your eyes: sunglasses make their wearer look 10% less likable. Eye obstruction via hair, glare and shadow didn’t make a difference in likability, but did bring down perceived competency by 15% and influence by 8%. Numbers don’t lie, people.
- Smile with teeth: In regards to making someone like and trust you, smiling with teeth showing has twice the effect of smiling with your moth closed!
- Dress for the job you want: doing so for a photo does wonders for getting you hired, as people perceive you to be 43% more competent and 58% more influential in your industry.
Need some help? Let’s chat – I’d love to help you get hired for your dream job!