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Besides the particulars on certificates, skills, present positions, awards and future plans on your professional profile page there is your photograph. This is the stamp, brand, hallmark or personal trademark of you that communicates something about you that viewers take away with them when they leave your profile page.
The 5 types to be wary of and their effects are
- The photograph from head to toe; a full length picture of you probably standing outside a building, in the car park, in the queue at the airport, next to your stacked desk or under a tree. Any full body shot is one you should avoid because this type of shot reduces into a small profile photograph and will make it harder to see your face. Instead, use the head only or head and shoulder shot. You know the types, sometimes called the passport-size photo. It renders well.
- The photograph as a caricature, an icon or a poster of your favorite football team. While it may be a really good drawing, a venerated icon or your team because they are winning the league it is not you. If you want people to get in touch with you and ask for your services, buy your product or just connect with you let them see who you are. It gives assurance and shows you are serious about your goals.
- The photograph with other people in it; colleagues, people you met at a conference, your children, your spouse or other patrons at a restaurant. A photo with other people in it means that viewers are given the extra work of figuring out which one in the image is you or it distracts from you altogether and puts the focus on those around you. This is your moment so let the photo be only about you and of you.
- The photograph of you gesturing or striking a pose. Even if you are a hip-hop aficionado or a model it is good to keep it simple. The other photos which may represent you also and that have gestures and poses can be highlighted elsewhere if the forum you are on allows it. If not, create a link to them. Just keep your profile image clean, focused and professional.
- The photograph at a hotel pool, the beach or very casually dressed. You are on a professional sight so think of this photograph as though you are attending an interview albeit a static one. So choose your clothes and the location carefully. Be well groomed and look the part you are holding, seeking or aiming for.