How Many Words?
When you meet a recruiter in person, confidence is key. Your eye contact and body language will reveal immediately whether you’re sure of yourself or hiding in the shadows.
At an Online Career Fair, you won’t get to shake hands. That’s why your resume, profile picture and what you have to say in the text-based chat will have to exude your confidence for you. While it’s not the end-all, be-all, your profile picture is the first impression, so it is important.
Selecting your profile photo shouldn’t be daunting or scary. Nobody’s expecting professional headshots! But there are some simple ways to show yourself in the best possible light.
Follow these tips, and you can’t go wrong:
Goldie Locks Style. That means not too close, not too far, but just the right distance from the camera. Think school or company portrait.
Lighting. The key to lighting is light! Of course you don’t want to wash yourself out with brightness, but recruiters aren’t interested in seeing your shadow either.
Smile! When you picture your dream interview, do you have a smile on your face? Employers want to feel like you’re excited about working with them, and a frowny photo will have the same negative effect as a flimsy handshake. Don’t be afraid to show those pearly whites.
Look at the Camera. Eye contact is the number one indication of confidence, so think of it as looking your interviewer in the eye.
Suit up. Dress in your profile photo the way you would for a job interview. That means no tanks, PJs or dirty jeans. A blazer or nice button down blouse will work.
This is Not a Party. If you don’t remember when the picture was taken, chances are it’s the wrong photo to represent you at a professional event. If you’re holding a drink or have your arm around your gal-pal in a photo, it’s better left on Facebook.
Go Solo. You love your children, spouses and pets, but including them in your professional profile photo is too much information too soon. You can put the family photo on your desk once you land the job.
Keep it Current. If the photo was taken more than one (that’s right ONE) year ago, it’s not you anymore. You don’t want to begin a relationship with a lie, and showing an outdated photo is doing just that.
Your File Name Matters. Recruiters will see the file name of your photo. Stick to something simple and clear, like your name.
A profile photo is not a requirement for our Online Career Fairs, or any other online outlet for that matter, so here’s the bottom line: if you don’t have anything nice to say with your profile photo, it’s best to say nothing at all.
Just remember: you can ask a friend to use a smart phone or digital camera to snap a shot of you at your professional best. The time investment will be worth it as you can use the photo for your LinkedIn profile or of course, an Online Career Fair.