When creating an online networking profile a question that always arises is what type of profile picture should you have or if you should have a picture at all?
For some having a picture of yourself online can be a bit of a daunting experience as you open yourself up to being judged based on your physical appearance.
In the beginning I was apprehensive about placing a picture of myself on some of my networking profiles, simply because I’m just not a photogenic person. I have now placed a picture of myself on my LinkedIn profile and on JobServe’s Pinterest page. One, because the LinkedIn profile in under my name. Two, ‘we’ as in my manager thought having a ‘human’ face on Pinterest made it more personable.
From a business perspective I think it is beneficial to display a picture whether it is of yourself or your company’s logo. It is something your followers will remember & associate your profile with.
Still not convinced? According to these articles the first place people look when viewing your profile is your picture.
Article via Mashable.com: http://mashable.com/2011/11/30/social-profile-eye-tracking/
Article via businessinsider.com: http://www.businessinsider.com/should-you-include-a-picture-on-your-linkedin-profile-2012-5
In the case of Klout, the first place user’s look was at the profile score, the score is in place of where a profile picture would normally be.
Based on the information acquired so far having a profile picture is beneficial. The next question is what type of profile picture you should have?
Do you opt for the –
1) Professionally posed photograph
2) DIY but still professional
3) Family photo
4) Holiday photo
5) Night out photo
A comment made on a current LinkedIn poll is that some viewers would like to see photographs of people that show their personality, whereas others have raised the point that on a professional networking site such as LinkedIn the user should display a picture that shows them in a professional light.
Is this true of all social media sites?
For LinkedIn the argument is it is a networking site for professionals so profile pictures should adhere to this. Can the same be said for other social networking sites?
Facebook started out as being a social networking site to link with friends, families sharing information in an informal environment. Now the site is used by businesses and people alike as a marketing tool to promote themselves.
It is not an unknown practice that potential employers are also checking prospective candidates Facebook pages. If you don’t want any unwanted attention Facebook users are advised to increase their pages security settings.
Like Facebook, Pinterest is generally an informal environment for users to ‘pin’ and ‘repin’ information with others. Users have taken advantage of this latest social tool using it to promote businesses and create innovative online CV’s. Unlike Facebook, Pinterest does not have any security settings to restrict who can and cannot view your Pinterest page.
Twitter is a place where your comments are more likely to generate attention more than your profile picture.
It’s up to the individual what picture they want to display on their profiles.
In a virtual social world a picture can say a zillion things, so think about what your profile picture says about you.