Profile Pictures

Monday, March 21st, 2011 - Profile Pictures, Social Media


Profile Pictures

Obi Wan Kenobi No Profile Picture

One of the items in a job seekers list of things to do is sort out their profile picture, with many asking questions on forums as to whether they should add a profile picture to their CV/resume? The simple answer is NO, its only necessary in three situations. But profile pictures are becoming a bigger part of job search and social media, and although not necessary, a good profile picture could mean the difference between employment and rejection.

Profile picture

The first question to answer, is should you add a profile picture to your CV/resume? The simple answer is NO, its only necessary in three situations:

  • As part of the Euro CV format
  • If you are a creative artist working in the arts or performance sector
  • When applying for some government jobs, when they specifically request it as part of security clearance

Profile picture importance

But profile pictures are becoming a bigger part of job search and social media, and although not necessary, a good profile picture could mean the difference between employment and rejection. Your job application – if you show the right combination of skills, qualifications and experiences required for that job – will result in your CV/resume being placed in the Telephone Interview pile. However, before the employer or recruiter now picks up the phone and calls you, they undertake a social media check, by tapping your name into Google. This will result in what is termed in the Human Resources industry as your Google CV being displayed, in other words your social media footprint.

Cool profile pictures

Now as people are in part vain and are in part lazy, they often use the same picture or combination of pictures in both their business and social media profiles. In other words, what was private in one sphere of your life becomes public to all, thanks to your profile picture. Secondly, it is far easier to search pictures than it is words in a search engine: there  are fewer pictures presently on the internet, and each is unique.

Hence the wise and trained background checkers now switch their Google word search to display picture results, and the answers of what is found are often stunning and instantly referenced.

Facebook profile picture

The easiest place to find and check someone’s background is by using the common social media sites, like Facebook for social media, and LinkedIn for business. But many of these sites provide both basic member profiles to enabled them to be found on Google, and further user choices as to what those profiles show in a public search.

Hence what may seem a unique and original cool profile picture, now becomes as easy to search and reference you across the internet. I have regular cases now for job applicants, who used the same picture in both their professional life while selling their companies services, and their private life while looking for an “active” new adult date!

Is this information sufficient to exclude you from a job search? It wholly depends on the employer, but placing such information in the public domain means that you are allowing a potential employer to include it in their assessment of your job application.

Profile picture ideas

Knowing that your profile picture is easily searchable across the internet, you are faced with a few choices:

  • Private v Public profile pictures? If you want to keep your private life private, don’t place business profile pictures in your social media profile! Learn how to control your social media profiles
  • What kind of profile picture? Choose something which shows you in a business format, doing something (presenting, receiving an award). Don’t choose something that your mates would find funny, but equally don’t use a plain and boring passport photo
  • Take advantage of Google: now that you know that employers and recruiters will Google search you, take advantage of this and make your business profile picture common across all profiles that you want them to find you on

I go one step further with mine, and use my pink-shirt photo to make a distinct and easily searchable profile picture. You may not like pink, but you get the idea!

Profile pictures are but a small part of modern job search, but can make a big difference in the success of your job application. Make sure that you use them to your best advantage.

Good Luck!

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3 Responses to “Profile Pictures”

  1. marcus stron Says:

    Nice article! It was a pleasure to read it :)

  2. Zoila Mcillwain Says:

    Pretty neat article, I learned a few things I didn’t know about. I just found your blog; it’s pretty neat. I’m going to have to read some of your other posts.

  3. Landon Urhahn Says:

    hello cant imagine how my appearance can influence so many aspects! Will bookmark this page! Crazily useful update! I regard something really special in this!

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