Last Updated on August 14, 2023
Today, your online personal brand has never been more important.
Whether you’re interviewing for a new job or you’re a business/HR recruiter reaching out to candidates, your digital profile needs to exceed any expectations and create a “wow” first impression.
Besides setting up an engaging bio, a killer professional profile picture is essential. Here are my top tips to make sure that your profile picture sets you up for success.
Tip 1: Choose Your Social Media Profiles Wisely
Here are the top social media profiles you likely already have.
Now, it’s important to decide which social media profile you’re presenting as a professional brand of yours and which social media outlets are for personal use.
If you’re not sure where to start, generally, having a Twitter (now known as X) and LinkedIn profile are good places to start.
Tip 2: Make Any Personal Social Media Profiles Private
This is such an easy mistake that I see people make all of the time. If you have personal social accounts like Instagram or Facebook, 90% of the time, you should be making this private to only your friends or followers.
You don’t want future clients or employers to have access to your Instagram story showing you partying at a club on the weekend.
So make these profiles private.
Typically this means TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram (but not always).
Tip 3: Make Your Personal Social Media Profile Pictures Appropriate
While making your socials private will stop them from checking your stories and uploads, don’t forget that when they look you up, they will see your profile pic in just a few clicks.
So while these profile photos do not necessarily need to be professional, make sure the picture isn’t something you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.
This one is really up to your discretion.
I’ve had a photo with my husband and kids and I in swimsuits on the beach, and I don’t have a problem with that. But not everyone may be comfortable with this if they’re on a job hunt, so make that decision for yourself.
Tip 4: How To Take the Perfect Professional Profile Photos
Okay, let’s say you don’t have a good profile picture, and you want a brand-new photo.
You have two options for this:
Option 1: Use an AI Headshot Generator
This is a relatively new option and one that I personally used recently when I needed a profile photo that I could use across my business socials.
How It Works:
- Choose an AI Headshot Generator company. I’ve personally tested all of them out here, which can see how my AI headshots turned out. Aragon is a cool one to check out.
- Upload 8-10 images of yourself. It’s best to use photos that you like with the best angle, natural lighting and has only you within the photo.
- Wait up to 24 hours for the software to do its magic and generate hundreds of profile picture templates.
- Choose your best photo.
Here’s an example of my AI headshot:
Keep in mind many of the photos won’t turn out great, and the goal is just to find one or two that looks like you. Here’s who I think AI headshots are great for:
Option 2: Use a Professional Photographer
Without a doubt, these are going to be the highest-quality photos and real photos of yourself. While AI can mimic a professional headshot, there’s no substitute for the real thing.
When looking to schedule a professional photographer, here are some tips:
Tip 5: Choose a Photo That Reflects What You Actually Look Like
This gives me such a laugh when someone has uploaded an image that looks nothing like them.
We all have our own insecurities. What’s important is that you feel your best self, put your best foot forward, and bring that confidence to the photo! Or just fake it ’til you make it.
Tip 6: Editing & Cropping the Imaging
So, now you’ve selected one or two professional profile pictures you would like to use; now, it’s just a question of editing and cropping.
Here are some quick tips:
Tip 7: Update Your Profile Regularly
This one is something that most of us forget to do (guilty!). As much as we all don’t like it, we age and mature. So if you’re 40 and you’re posting a photo when you’re 32, it’s probably not going to be the most accurate portrayal of what you look like today.
Own any signs of maturing; it’s a privilege to have another year on Earth.
If you’re looking to professionalize your social media, I hope this information was helpful and gave you some tidbits you may not have thought of yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should I Use a Professional Profile Picture?
If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or simply looking for employment, then you definitely want to be sure that your digital brand is professional and portrays the impression you’re looking for.
What Should Your Business Profile Picture Be?
This one is a bit tricky, but oftentimes people will use their logo to increase brand visibility. You can get creative with this and make it a product photo with your logo on it to also showcase what you’re selling.