7 things to avoid for a professional profile photo

The importance of a good quality professional photo can't be underplayed. Potential customers often see you for the first time online, and first impressions count! Having a good profile photo on professional websites (such as your company website, AdvisrME profile, LinkedIn and Yellow Pages) helps people to identify you when you meet, puts a face behind the name so people can picture you, and adds trust and credibility.

Simply having a profile photo on a professional network results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests. (according to LinkedIn Statistics)

Are you an agent?
If you don't yet have an AdvisrME profile, or your profile is incomplete then login and update it today - be sure to add a professional profile photo.

The tips below will help you decide whether it's time for a new profile picture, and give some examples of the type of photos to avoid.  

1. Angle is important
Make sure you're facing the camera. Professional photographers will often get you to position your body slightly to one side, but with your face forward.

2. Lighting should be direct, bright and consistent
Avoid taking your photo in low lighting or where the light casts strong shadows on your face. Shadows can make it difficult to see your face clearly and don't look professional. Lighting and shadows can be dealt with through changing the brightness and other editing tricks, but it's best to get it right when shooting.

3. Use a high resolution photo 
Nothing shouts unprofessional like a blurry pixelated photo. Make sure you choose one that's crisp and clear. Ideally well-lit and professionally shot.

4. No sunglasses or hats
Remember that people need to be able to recognise you when they meet you, so seeing your eyes and whole face is important.

5. Wear professional clothes
It goes without saying that you should plan the day before having your professional photo taken to wear something professional and smart. Don't just choose a photo of yourself from a night out or wedding that you like, unless it looks professional. This all depends on your industry and your own personal brand of course.

6. Hair and makeup 
Make sure your face isn't shiny! Blotting with tissue or using a light powder helps with this. Wear your hairstyle as it usually is so people are more likely to recognise you when they meet you in person, as they'll check against the photo they see online if they're meeting you for the first time. And of course, make sure your hair is neat and brushed (if you have hair, that is!). If you wear makeup don't overdo it, unless you're in the fashion industry! Avoid excessive jewellery as it can be distracting.

7. Professional not social setting
Again, steer clear of pictures from weddings, nights out or holidays! You might love that photo of you, but remember, it's not professional.

In today's climate of mistrust in the industry, it's more important than ever to ensure your online profile photos look professional, friendly and trustworthy. People buy from people and build trust with those they recognise. 

If you're an agent, make sure your AdvisrME profile includes your friendly, professional inviting face.