What is it with profile pictures of people with puckered lips? Are the photographers serving super tart lemonade just before the session? Recently I used a popular service to find a sitter for my kids. While scrolling through profiles, looking to hire the perfect care-taker for my children, I was dumbfounded by the number of pictures of people with puckered lips. Your profile picture is the first thing potential employers see. Sometimes, a decision to review a person’s profile – be it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Care.com, or Namethatsocialmedia.net – is based solely on the impression given by the picture at the top of the page. Right, wrong or otherwise, if you are looking for a job, you need to make sure your profile picture isn’t turning potential hiring managers away. Blowing a kiss to the camera is not a good look for your LinkedIn profile. Neither is a photo of you on the beach in a muscle shirt, or a bikini. You should also avoid the photo of you hanging on a friend in a bar and the one of you rocking out at a Motley Crue concert. Needless to say, I avoided all the profiles where the potential sitter was puckered up. They may have all been Mary Poppins qualified, but their profile photo gave the wrong first impression.
Bottom line: Get a professional headshot for your employer-facing social media presence. And these days, that’s a big presence. The professional headshot from a professional photographer will certainly provide you with the best first impression.