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When we wrote a blog last week on the big mistakes to avoid when posting a business profile photo we didn’t realise it would generate so much comment and feedback. Obviously it is a talking point and most business owners and managers have a viewpoint on the way their employees or potential employees should appear in their business profile photo. Today’s blog covers some of the same ground but focuses on four key points.

Whether you are looking for a snazzy photo for the company About Us page or a professional business picture for your LinkedIn profile, you want to put your best photogenic qualities at the forefront with a professional profile picture. People are using the Internet for a variety of reasons, from finding employees for their business to reading trusted industry-news from professional business owners. Besides judging you by the information you provide, the person is also creating a judgment based on your appearance.

Making the right or wrong photo impression

Almost everyone knows that taking a drunken selfie while at a party and slapping it down as your profile photo can create the wrong impression to potential bosses, employees, business peers and customers. Yet even small photography mishaps can negatively impact your company brand or professional career.

Snapping a photo that shows you are wincing at the sunlight can create a scowling, brooding impression that can turn off customers. Knickknacks and cluttered backgrounds can distract people from focusing on your face, creating less of a dramatic effect. Memes and cartoon pictures simply do not provide the professional appearance as a person won’t take you seriously.

4 tips to taking professional profile pictures

While having a photographer taking your photo can ensure the right lighting, background and pose for most business pictures, most people will try to save time and money by taking the photo themselves using their camera, smartphone, tablet, or laptop webcam. Here are four tips to take the best possible photos for social media and web pages. You will be able to maintain a professional appearance whether you are using the photo to brand your company or promote your career toward interested recruiters.

  1. Declutter your background: Don’t have distractions or items in the background that can create the wrong impression. A clean, white wall allows people to focus on the main element in the photo: you.
  2. Dress the part: Obviously if you are going for that manager job, you shouldn’t be wearing a dirty tee shirt and ripped slacks. Dress for the future job you desire. You don’t have to dress to the nines, unless the job warrants such attire. Appear professional and approachable whether you are wearing formal or semi-formal clothing.
  3. Go for the close-ups: You may love the photo where you are sitting at the computer and typing away. Yet keep in mind that social media sites have profile boxes ranging from 160 pixels up to 240 pixels. Your photo will be resized to fit that small box, and far-off photos will become blurry and unclear. To have a more professional photo, go for a close up of your face and the upper shoulder area.
  4. Smile: If you look like you just woke up with a hangover, people are going to create a bad impression. So smile and show charisma. Take a photo that is relaxed and puts off a natural expression. Avoid making a duck face, pouty lips, fishlips or some other facial expression you would make when having fun and playing jokes with family members or friends.

You’ll only have one chance to make a great impression on social media when you are trying to brand your company or yourself to recruiters. Here at Big Red Cloud when we look to expand our online accounting software team, of course we do an online search of prospective candidates. Our advice, take a professional profile picture that captures your likeable and trusting traits. This photo can help you further market your company and yourself in your chosen career.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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