5 Tips for Taking the Best Profile Pic… And Why It’s So Important

5 Tips for Taking the Best Profile Picture by Sarah Stempowski

First impressions count.

You will never get a second chance to make a great first impression and, in our fast-paced, virtual world your profile picture is going to be your first impression for 90% of your job applications. Scary.

Believe it or not, it takes a person under half a second to form an impression of you, click here for that research. Yes, you may have mastered the up-shot or duck-face for your Facebook profile or Dating App, BUT, when a potential employer makes a shout out for applicants they are looking for a reliable individual, who can get the job done – not a bestie who knows how to have a good time.

So, how then do you create a great PROFESSIONAL first impression with just one profile picture?


Great question, here are SCOUTA’s 5 Top Tips for the best profile picture:


Infographic student professional profile
5 Top Tips For Your Professional Profile Picture


Sign up to Scouta to start your career journey while you’re still studying.


1. Smile & Make Eye Contact


No sunglasses (unless you are applying for a job as a sunglasses model – and scouta.me does not have a job for sunglasses model) eye contact is an important part of forming trust, look straight into the camera and give a sincere smile.


2. Dress Appropriately for Your Role


This is important. Give some thought as to what you would wear in an office environment. Would your mom approve? Make sure that you’re looking smart, and that you’ve given yourself adequate time to groom. Ironed shirt, tidy hair, lipstick securely fastened. And please, no caps, dude – read the room.


3. Head to Shoulders or Head to Waist


Keep in mind – your face is the most important part of your profile picture. Yes, we know that selfies are also all about the face but ask someone close to you (who can be honest with you) to take the photograph for you. Head to shoulders is generally best.


4. Natural Light (they want to see you)


Use natural light. A flashlight for a headshot will do your face no favours, so don’t use it. If you can find a window that allows in natural daylight – use it, if not, go outside. Early morning or early evening are the best times for natural light as the light isn’t too bright. Midday in the direct sunlight can be too harsh and bright.


5. Consider Your Background


As we mentioned, the most important part of this picture is your face –  don’t have a background that is too busy and will distract from that. Bathrooms and bedrooms are personal spaces and don’t make a great background. Look for an open space or a wall.

A great profile picture should communicate that you are friendly, likeable, and trustworthy, and will increase your response rates. So, take the time to get it right.

If in doubt over the quality of your profile picture, you can test it here – https://www.photofeeler.com.

And, a final word on professional vs personal profile pictures. Yes, some of your employers may be old but they all know how to Google and use Facebook (crazy right). So, do yourself a professional favour and make sure your private profiles are private when you start looking for jobs. Your employer doesn’t need to know what you do on the weekend… unless it’s study and/or charity work.



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