Create the right impression with your profile picture

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Even if you are consistently posting the most prescient, insightful information on your social media profiles, people will likely notice your picture before they start paying attention to what you have to say. First impressions matter, and they are almost always visual.

Like it or not, you need a good profile picture – a picture of you, not your dog or your child or your favorite beach. And you need a quality picture – one that does not look like it was taken in a cave with a camera phone. If the first thing people see on your profiles is a turn-off, then they may never recognize the value that you have to offer through your professional activity and services.

Why put time into your profile picture?

You want to portray an accurate professional image. A good profile picture should achieve a balance between being eye-catching and appropriate for your industry and position. In the world of first impressions, there is such a thing as negative attention. Pictures that are poor quality or too casual can cast you in a negative light.

People may be looking for you. While it has become much less common on professional networks, some people still use pictures of things or animals instead of themselves. People you have met at networking events may be looking for you. If they do a search for John Smith that produces multiple results, some of which are trees and dogs, they will have to guess which profile belongs to you. Do not miss out on connections because of an inappropriate photo.

Humans are visual creatures. Most people think and remember primarily through visual cues. And most people also have very short attention spans. Giving people the right visual cues immediately is critical to getting their attention and gaining their trust.

How do you create a good profile picture?... CONTINUE READING

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