Guest Blog Spot, Personnel Placements.
Profile Pictures– what do they tell a Potential Employer about you?
Nowadays most of us have some sort of online presence in the form of one of the many Social Media sites. They are used, as the name suggests, to “socialise”, but also as a platform to sell products, services and if you are a job seeker, yourself! When was the last time you had a good look at your profile picture. Does it portray the image you want it to? Are you the same person at work as you are on Facebook? The current thinking within many HR departments seems to be that whatever people display on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter reflects the behaviour they display in the workplace. However new research shows that what’s in our profiles has little bearing on how well we do our jobs, even though a large number of recruiters operate under the assumption that it does. According to a survey by recruiting software company Jobvite, 93% of recruiters surveyed are likely to look at a candidate’s social media profile during the recruitment process and make assumptions on their capabilities. Over 40% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social media profile.
Do the same rules apply across all Social Media sites?
Facebook is a platform where most people say and do things that they wouldn't do at work and post photographs of situations that could make a potential employer think poorly of them. So if you are searching for work, make sure you at least set your privacy settings to ensure those photos of you after one to many cocktails aren't visible to everyone! Twitter has changed the way we communicate, opening up our daily thoughts and #selfies to, potentially, the world! Problems occur when people start tweeting photos that are unprofessional, threaten company privacy, or reflect badly on their own work ethics. Sites such as LinkedIn are different, and your profile is in effect a modern day CV, so your profile photograph needs to look professional; a good head and shoulders shot is ideal. Make sure it portrays you as professional and business like, as well as a positive, happy person; you can smile – it’s not a passport mugshot! Ideally get a professional photographer to take it. People look at photographs and think, “can I see myself working with this person?”, so make sure it is recent, there’s no point trying to hide anything as if you do get to meet a potential employer who has seen your LinkedIn profile, it’s going to be hard to build trust with someone who doesn’t recognise you in person!
We do receive some applications from candidates who use photographs on their CVs but in the UK it’s more common not to. However if you do choose to add one to your CV or are asked to send a photo with your application, again it needs to be a recent, business like, professional looking head and shoulders shot.