You may not fully realise the importance of your profile picture. It is most pronounced on professional job portals like Naukri and LinkedIn. Your profile picture gives the first impression to a person who hasn’t seen you. We are more conscious about our profile pictures on Facebook and other social media when it is equally, or perhaps more, important in a professional scenario.
When recruiters browse your profile in, say LinkedIn, the first thing they notice is your picture. A fake id can be easily spotted if the picture is missing, so if you haven’t added a one you should change that. It is naturally implied that a profile without a picture is fake. Your picture shows your identity. According to recent studies, when recruiters spend time on your profile, around 18% of it is looking at your picture. That’s how important it is.
It shows your account is real
Having a clear and updated photo in your profile indicates you are active on the platform. It should be your own photo and not something generic. On Facebook, some people have a tendency to use pictures of celebrities as their profile pictures due to reluctance to use their own face. This is fine on Facebook, as it is a medium for connecting with friends, but it is certainly not OK when it comes to professional profiles.
Fake Facebook profiles can be quickly spotted by seeing the profile picture. A profile with a photo of a film star, or which doesn’t have a photo, is probably fake or inactive 2 out of 3 times. Twitter has already started removing fake accounts from their network. A LinkedIn profile requires more attention. It is a platform for interacting with potential recruiters. Keep your profile updated, and have a good photo. Formal attire is a good idea - but whatever you wear, just make sure it is you and not someone else in that picture.
Photoshop can be used, but it should not be excessive. Too much editing can give a false impression to people who see your profile. Take pride in your natural looks, and be bold enough to show yourself to the world. There are sometimes drastic differences between a profile photo and reality, and this is better avoided as far as professionalism is concerned. People should be able to identify you when they meet you in person. That is the purpose of your profile picture - to give you an identity.
It should help people recognize and remember you
You will have thousands of friends on Facebook. But you may not be close to even half of them. The chances are you may even forget their names. Social media profiles can help you connect names with faces to a certain extent. But how can you remember friends if they don’t have a proper profile picture? Choosing proper photos for your profile is very important.
A good businessman will be always on the lookout for efficient human resources. Consider the case when you meet with an HR Manager during a party. You exchange names, and get to know each other. During conversation, they express interest in giving you a job. Before finalizing their offer, the chances are high they will search for you on LinkedIn.
If you don’t have a profile picture, they may not be able to find you. They may think you are a low-profile employee. This can have a negative impact on your prospect of getting hired, and it’s a situation easily avoided by simply adding a photo to your profile.
In a job portal, you should never paste a group photo as your profile picture. This can lead to confusion. After all, it is your profile. The recruiter should be able to identify you. Your face should be clearly visible. When it comes to social media like Facebook, the options are more open.
You are branded by your photo
There may be many people out there who have the same name as you, but there is not much chance someone will look exactly like you. Your appearance helps in distinguishing you. Your profile photo gives you a unique identity. It will be used to differentiate you from others.
Your appearance in your photo can also have a positive impact on others. It projects your nature. Your profile photo may look cheerful even if you may not be that jovial in real life. Just kidding! Can you believe that ages ago, people never used to smile in photos? It was considered a bad omen. The practice of keeping a serious face in photos is no longer the norm. It is your call as to what you want other people to think of you. Give it some thought before uploading your photo - but remember that people are usually attracted to cheerful photos.
These days, people are obsessed with selfies. You no longer need another person to take your photo. Smartphones have started giving equal importance to the front camera. But as far as job portals are concerned, it is best you take your photo with a professional photographer. Such photos have a marked difference, and will give you a professional look.
Creates the first impression
The world is getting smaller with the advancements in technology. With features like video calling, you can talk face to face to a person hundreds of miles away from you. Friendships are being made without actually seeing the person. For a person who hasn’t seen you, their first impression is based on your profile picture.
So if you have a blank profile picture, it will literally give a blank impression to the people who visit your profile. There are even cases where a recruiter gets attracted by your picture, and decides to browse through your profile. There is a lot of competition out there. Freelancing websites have made the scenario even more competitive. Recruiters can hire freelancers in many fields ranging from content writing to website design. In order to stand out, a good profile photo is absolutely necessary.
Networking is also a necessity in today’s world. The tremendous growth of social network sites like Facebook and Instagram underlines this fact. When you want to add a friend, you search them by their name - but it is mostly the profile photo that helps you identify your old friends. Being active on networking platforms makes it easy for your friends to find you. This is not different in a professional scenario. The more connections you have, the more easily your potential recruiter can find you.
We hope you have understood the importance of keeping a profile photo. In this article, we have seen how a profile picture gives you an identity in the digital world. It creates a brand image for you. A profile photo makes a first impression.
If you still don’t have a profile photo, what are you waiting for? Be quick to mark your identity. Let your profile stand out. If your profile has a photo, very good - but don’t forget to keep it updated.