First impressions on social media are vital


Everyone has heard the phrase 'a picture is worth a thousand words' so let your profile picture tell your story. According to a potential employer will spend only 5.7 seconds looking at your profile. Employers like many of us are time poor and will briefly view your profile picture to gain an understanding of who you are. In those 5.7 seconds your profile picture has a lasting impression and will come to mind first when employers think of you. Here are five essential tips to creating a quality profile to enhance your chances of gaining an interview and landing the job:


1. Picture quality - Your profile picture is most effective if it is a picture of you. Make sure that it is in focus and not blurry so people can clearly identify who you are. Your LinkedIn profile picture needs to be professional and up-to-date to represent you in your professional setting. Attire and presentation is very important when making those first impressions because it can say a lot about who you are so ensure that your profile picture is of high quality to effectively convey this.


2. Group photos - Group photos should not be used as your LinkedIn profile picture but may be suitable for your Facebook profile picture. If you do use a group photo it is important that you are in it and you are clearly visible. The context of the photo is also important, there is an important distinction between a family photo and a group of friends partying.


3. Dignified - A potential employer does not need to see you in your swimmers or passed out on the floor so keep it covered and clean. Keep any of your private photos hidden from your profile by adjusting your security settings so that people who are not your friends cannot see them. Some social media platforms allow more than just your friends to see your profile so be wary of how each social media platform operates.


4. Say hi to your mum - A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether your mum would approve of your profile picture or not. It is not just your friends that you share your social media profile with, there is also family, professional networks and potential employers. Facebook in particular requires a profile picture that is suitable for all that have access to your profile.


5. Clean photos - It is important to avoid screenshots, memes or even logos when job seeking because they are unprofessional. If you keep your profile picture clean a potential employer will remember the picture of you and not any text or clutter that is in your profile picture.


A good social media profile picture will not get you the job on its own but a bad profile picture will certainly damage your chances of getting a job. The majority of employers now screen applicants' social media profiles and their profile pictures leave a lasting impression either positive or negative. A picture really is worth a thousand words so make sure yours tells your story.