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Dos and Don’ts of the Perfect Social Media Picture

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Your social media profile picture is important because it is also one of the first things recruiters see when they visit your page 

According to Jobvite, 92% of recruiters use social media to find the best candidates. That means they are visiting the social media profile pages of job candidates to check them out. They care about your knowledge skills and abilities. They care about what you share. They care about a complete profile. That means they expect to see a professional looking photo of you, so they can match your information to a face. Your social media profile picture is important because it is also one of the first things recruiters see when they visit your page, and it can compliment your personal branding strategy. Getting a professional headshot doesn’t have to be expensive, you can hire a student, who attends a design school. Many of them need to create a portfolio of their work, so they will gladly take professional photos for a beer or a meal. Also, today’s smartphones have high resolution, so they are suitable to take professional looking headshots as well. 

Dos and Don’ts of the Perfect Social Media Picture 


  • Make sure the background is uncluttered. 
  • Check to see if there is enough lighting. 
  • Make sure it’s a close-up of your face. You are perceived as being more likeable. 
  • Full color photo – no black and white. 
  • Dress as if you were going to an employment interview. Your confidence will shine through in the photo. You are perceived as confident and influential. 
  • Smile confidently, with your teeth visible. It increases your likability. 


  • Have others in your professional social media profile picture. 
  • Have your pets in your profile picture. 
  • Add filters to your photos for special effects. 
  • Use a symbol or icon in place of a photo of you. 
  • Use selfies, you probably won’t get it right, if you try to take your own photo using a smartphone. (Ask a friend to take a photo of you using your smartphone.) 

Marc Miller, Founder of CareerPivot, says, “When you crop your photo, make sure that the background works because photos for social media profiles are squares and headshots are rectangular.” He further added that if you are not sure if your headshot is professional, upload it to PhotoFeeler, a website where users give you unbiased feedback on your profile photo. Another tip is to always use a higher resolution of your photo than what the various social media platforms require, because it will prevent your social media profile picture from looking pixelated. 

If you follow these simple strategies for creating the perfect social media profile picture, you will complete the look and feel of your profile page and enhance your personal brand .


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