Selecting The Right Business Profile Picture

photoSelecting a personal image to be used for business purposes poses the question; business professional or business casual attire?

This question is generally industry specific, so if you are in a corporate environment where you regularly wear professional attire, we suggest a business professional picture. If you decide to go with business casual, think flattering and wear colors that make you look healthy, shapes (opencollar, v-necks, business jackets) that cut a professional figure, and make sure everything is ironed.

Here are some suggestions to consider.

1. Always use a photo that can be used multiple times, for example LinkedIn profiles with a photo are seven times more likely to be viewed than ones without a photo.

2. Use a recent photo of yourself. If people are surprised when they meet you in person because you look nothing like your picture, they may wonder why you posted such a misleading photo.

3. You should be the only subject in the photo. It’s your professional profile picture, so it should focus on you. This means no inanimate objects, group shots, or photos of you with your significant other, child, or pets.

4. Your face should be in focus. The background can be slightly out of focus, but your features need to be sharp, not blurred. If there are darker shadows in the background, make sure they aren’t obscuring your face.

5. Wear appropriate professional or business casual attire. Appear as you usually would in a business situation, this may also mean that you are freshly shaven or wearing [business appropriate] makeup and jewelry. Never post a photo of yourself at the beach, in a night club, or even running a marathon.

6. Keep your head straight and upright. Women, in particular, tend to tilt their heads in photos, which makes them look less self-assured. Again, this is your professional photo, so you need to look confident and capable in it.

7. Use a pleasant facial expression. You need to look like someone others will want to work with. This means looking pleasant and confident and not having a “too serious” look on your face. Photos should express confidence, edgy and full of life and not sad, angry, or a vacant stare. Also, stick to color rather than black and white shots.”

8. Don’t use your company’s product or logo as a photo. People want to connect with you as an individual, so avoid displaying your company’s logo — unless it’s your company’s page.