full picture

In my last article, When Does a First Impression Become a Last Impression?, I discussed what aspects we judge people on when they make first contact with us and the fact that we have to use this very limited information to decide whether we want to connect with them. In part two I will be focusing on professional profile pictures and what kind of impact different types of pictures might have.

For each type of profile picture below I’ve looked at the positive views people may have and the negative views. When you see each of the pictures below what do you think? Do they make a good first impression on you?

 

The party girl

party girl pic

Positives:

Gives the impression you are fun and sociable. Others might be drawn to you if they feel you are a kindred spirit.

Negatives:

Doesn’t look professional and it might indicate to people that you don’t take your work seriously. You could even get in trouble from your employer as the photo will be linked to your company name.
The failed selfie

selfie

Positives:

Not much to say here. Some might feel it adds some humour and this could make you seem approachable.

 

Negatives:

Could indicate that you weren’t concerned enough about your profile to put much effort in. Does not appear very professional. Might show that you are not very good with technology, which could be important depending upon your role.

 

The art effect

art effect

Positives:

This type of picture might make you more memorable. It also shows you are a creative person and that might be relevant to your work.

 

Negatives:

Some people might feel it is gimmicky rather than professional. It could make it harder for people to identify you and therefore you might not be found by those who already know you.

 

The unidentifiable blur

the unrecognisable blur

Positives:

At least you have taken the time to put up a profile picture.

 

Negatives:

Might indicate that you are not that interested in your profile. Shows a lack of concern for quality.  

 

The mystery

mystery picture

Positives:

Perhaps it is better to have no picture than a bad picture…

 

Negatives:

Shows you are not that interested in your profile and that you probably won’t interact with people much. Mystery people haven’t usually accessed their account for a while.

 

The company logo

logo pic

Positives:

It shows your company or brand clearly to someone. If it uses colour or bold design, it might stand out against all the selfies.

 

Negatives:

I constantly hear the phrase, “People buy from people.” By not using your own photo you are denying that personal touch to your profile viewers.

 

The pet pic

pet picture

Positives:

If, like me, your profile viewers are big animal lovers then they will probably like profiles of animals as it shows an immediate connection between you and them making them more likely to want to correspond with you. Of course, if you work as a vet or a dog walker then a pet profile is perfectly acceptable!

 

Negatives:

Does your dog wearing a pair of sunglasses really reflect your business image? It could detract from serious points you are trying to make and you may appear less credible.

 

The holiday shot

holiday pic

Positives:

Shows more of your personality and helps people to make a personal connection with you. A nice background can make a change from the generic headshot and make your profile stand out.

 

Negatives:

Is it really the place to showcase your holiday snaps? Do your profile viewers really want to see you in your swimming gear and flip flops? Does it detract from your professional image?

 

The family shot

family pic

Positives:

Shows you are family orientated and this creates a trustworthy image. Makes people feel they have more of a personal connection to you.

 

Negatives:

It’s a business profile so should you bring in your personal life? Should that be kept separate? You might be seen as less professional.

 

The bog standard professional headshot

professional pic

Positives:

It shows you are a professional. Your viewers can easily identify you from real life meetings. You fit in with everyone else.

 

Negatives:

Do you really want to look like everyone else? Your picture won’t stand out amongst all the rest and you won’t be memorable.

 

Now that you have looked at all the pictures I’d like you to consider the following questions. Do you think your profile picture conveys the image you want to portray on a professional networking site? Does your image fit your personal brand? How do you think others perceive your profile?

 

That concludes the second in the two part article about first impressions. I welcome any comments on what makes a good or bad first impression on you and the importance of a profile picture in making a good first impression.

 

Lyn Calver

 

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