Do you have a photo posted in your online profiles and web spaces?
I have been surprised to notice in the past few months how many of my colleagues and friends do NOT have a photo posted. In many cases, they are new to the website (e.g., just joined LinkedIn). It has made me wonder why.
I remember the early days of life online. I didn’t post my photo for several years but I finally got over my nervousness in 1999. (Those were also the years where the most common place to post a photo was in online dating sites.)
Nowadays, there is much more openness and comfort with our lives being lived online as well as in person. Many of you readers are online in multiple spaces – both professionally and personally.
I recommend that you post a photo in your various web spaces – and also that you use the same photo in all your professional sites. (I just changed my photo and made sure that LinkedIn, my SueMentors blog, and my SueMentors twitter profile all use the same photo.) Why?
Think about the power of an image. If a potential employer searches to see what you have done online, the employer will now see an image associated with your name and skills. (Often, LinkedIn is the first – or among the first – in the search results.) And if the employer keeps searching for results about you, the same image is seen over and over. Now do you get the picture?
A final thought about your picture to be posted. Make sure it is good quality and focuses mostly on your face. It is amazing how many photos posted in online professional sites are blurry, taken at too long a range (e.g., showing someone standing), or include children or pets along with the person. If you can’t afford to pay a professional to take a quality headshot for you, ask a camera-savvy friend to help you with a photo shoot and then work together to choose the best image. And remember to crop, fix the redeye, and otherwise make it the best photo you can.