Posting online photos
By Barbara Pachter
Many businesspeople have posted photographs of themselves on LinkedIn and other sites as part of their online profile. Unfortunately, some people post photographs that detract from their professionalism. Your image is conveyed through your photograph, and it’s part of the first impression you make on others. You want to post a photograph that is professionally appropriate. You want to look like a credible, approachable person, not as if you just came from the beach. Here are 10 guidelines for posting photographs of yourself on social media:
Post a head shot
This type of photograph highlights your head and face but often shows your shoulders and part of your chest. You are the focus of the picture.
Choose a photo that flatters you
Sounds obvious, but people don’t always pay attention to their choice. This does not mean a glamour shot, but you should look like a competent professional in the photograph.
Use clear, uncluttered backgrounds
Dark shadows shouldn’t obscure your face. People must be able to see you clearly.
Make sure your face is in focus
The background can be slightly out of focus, but your features need to be sharp, not blurred.
Wear appropriate attire
Appear as you usually would in a business situation. This may also mean that you are freshly shaven, or wearing makeup and jewelry.
Face the camera
Avoid tilting your head, as you will look less self-assured than if you keep your head straight.
Have a pleasant facial expression
If you are frowning or scowling, why would someone want to hire or work with you?
Look like your photograph
If your photo is more than eight to 10 years old, people may be surprised when they meet you. If you had long hair in your photo and now have short hair, people may not recognize you.
Be cautious with outdoor settings
This type of photo places you in a setting that relates to your profession. This is generally a wider shot and your face is a smaller part of the photograph. These pictures are often used as additional photos on a website and are not recommended for head-shot postings.
Hire a professional photographer
If all this seems overwhelming, hire someone who takes photos for a living. It’s worth the investment in your professional online image.
Barbara Pachter is a speaker, coach and author of numerous business books, including GREET! EAT! TWEET! 52 Business Etiquette Postings to Avoid Pitfalls & Boost Your Career, The Power of Positive Confrontation and When the Little Things Count. Pachter specializes in business etiquette and communication for companies worldwide. Her client list features major organizations, including Microsoft, Pfizer, Chrysler, Cisco and Genentech. For a free copy of Pachter’s communication e-newsletter, Competitive Edge, call 856-751-6141 (N.J.) or go to pachter.com.