Photos aren’t always necessary to include in resumes when applying for jobs but it definitely doesn’t hurt to include a clean, pleasant and professional image of yourself. At Workible, we see a distinct advantage when our job seekers include a photo in their profiles because it makes you a little more human and a little less anonymous.
The saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is commonly used, but let’s be honest – you don’t want to make it tough on the hiring manager to assess your capabilities by including a selfie before, during or after a messy night out with your friends! So it’d be a good idea to keep these photos strictly for Facebook or Instagram.
Here are some tips to taking a ‘Professional Selfie’
- Dress Appropriately as though you’re attending an interview or going to work. Imagine you landed the interview and put on your suit or your best business casual look. If you’re a chef or cook, put on your uniform. Know the company/ industry you’re aiming to work for and go for a look that will fit. For instance, if you want to work in retail or for a specific retailer like Industrie Clothing, wear something fashionable or appropriate to the brand. Just remember, make sure that your photo depicts you in a manner appropriate for your field or the job you want – leave the club/pub shots out.
- Find a suitable environment. If you’re taking a professional shot in business attire, find a white wall in a room filled with natural light to be your blank canvas. If you’re a chef or barista, you can stage your background in the kitchen or in a cafe behind a coffee machine. No matter what, be sure to double check there are no photo bombers or unwanted items in the background.
- Select a current photo. Let’s be real, employers don’t want to see your baby photo or even your old images from your first year of high school. Do not include an outdated photo. Use a current picture so people aren’t surprised when they meet you in person.
- Keep it simple. Your photo should be of you, and only you. Avoid including irrelevant objects, pets, or children. If you’re not a typical selfie-taker, our best advice is to be brave and be yourself (there’s no better person to be!) Stay away from that Instagram filter or image effect that makes you look like a zombie hiding in the dark but at the same time avoid the mugshot or boring passport photo. Keep the image bright, fresh and natural. The point is to show potential employers who you are, so show them.
- Take a head shot. Because profile pictures should only be a small thumbnail on your resume, include just your head, neck and a bit of your shoulders – like a passport photo. Do not using poor angles – you don’t want your forehead to dominate the photo from an aerial view or that double-chin effect from a low angle shot. The camera lens should be just above eye level and capture the frame of your face perfectly – think of the image you display in someone else’s eyes when you have a conversation with them.
- Last but not least, smile! Is this step necessary? No, but it definitely beats the ‘Woken up at 6am on a Sunday’ look. Avoid the excessive evil grin or the infamous pout and give it a genuine crack! The key to perfection is to practice! The beauty of digital cameras and smartphones is you can take as many as you like until you get the right one. Here are some in-depth tips on ‘How to Smile’
What other tips do you have? Please feel free to share!