Social media has become more important than ever in recruiting. People are posting on Facebook and LinkedIn to burnish their professional reputations. And companies are using these platforms in their hunt for workers.
A lot has been written about putting your best foot forward on your Facebook or LinkedIn site. Be careful, the advice goes, about what you put on them that could reflect poorly on your judgment or character.
Social media specialists also advise to be careful about the pictures you put on your site that could reflect poorly on you. But there is another picture that often does not get enough attention, or enough thought, when it appears on a site – your profile picture.
According to Kelly Dingee, a strategic recruiting manager, there are a few things to keep in mind when you post your picture on professional networking sites. First, she says, do not use a fake photograph of yourself. Avoid the drawings and the caricatures or the cartoon pictures.
Be careful what kind of image the photograph gives of you. For example, Dingee says, if you are a woman, avoid things like tube tops if you are going to put just a head and shoulders photograph on your site – everyone looking at the picture will know you are really not nude in the photograph, but that is the impression it will give.
She recalls a presentation she gave recently where she was talking about a top-notch job applicant she had. The person was perfect for the job opening, and Dingee was showing everyone the person’s social media page to highlight her accomplishments. But everyone focused on the person’s picture instead. The reason was that the person was wearing a strapless top and had cropped the picture at the shoulders, giving the appearance that she was naked. A little forethought and this problem could have been avoided, Dingee says. You need to think about the impression you are giving with your picture.
She also says to avoid including your children in the picture. They also do not belong on a professional job networking site.
Human resource workers are human beings like everyone else, and like everyone else, they make quick judgments about people from looking at their pictures, it’s just human nature. So, if your photo is a little quirky, a little off the beaten track, it may get human resource’s attention, but not in a good way. Look at your social media picture they way you do dressing for an interview, Dingee says. Make it appropriate, because first impressions count.