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The Benefits of a Good Professional Profile Picture

Benefits of a Good Profile Photo

Professional profile pictures are important for the corporate world. It is the first things people see while looking for and trying to connect with you. People prefer working with someone trustworthy, so the right friendly profile picture helps building trust from the start. An outdated picture or the absence of one instantly makes people think twice about working with you. Therefore take the time to get a professional profile picture.

Studies Back This Up

A mild attempt as researching this and you can find scores of studies that demonstrate how first impressions create a lasting influence on people. There are studies tracking impressions created by smells, sounds, touch and photographs. The synopsis when it comes to photographs - photographs linger long in the mind and make a bigger impression than you may realize. One study showed the results of how long it could last. Participants were asked to look at head shots of four women. Some of the women were smiling, and the others harbored a neutral expression. The participants were then asked if they would like to be that woman's friend and to guess her personality. The women were judged to be extroverts, emotionally stable, conscientious, emotionally stable and open to new experiences. The same participants then met these women about 1-6 months later and were not reminded of their first impressions. They played a trivia game with the women for a while and then spent some time getting to know one another. Each participant then evaluated how they felt towards the subject. After each interaction the described their perceived personality. Surprisingly, each participant's evaluations were consistent with the photos' first impressions. It correlated that images "embed" the impressions into our memory. Those who thought the woman was a nice person viewed her positively even after meeting her. Those who thought she was a disagreeable person held the same views even after the meeting.

Why first impressions are so effective

Studies like this offer two basic reasons for a photo's first impressions being so effective, that they don't change even after personally meeting the person. They are:

1. The halo effect

If you have a positive first impression, you tend to attribute all positive characteristics to the person. This means that if you think someone is likable, you tend to assume that the person leads a healthy life and marriage, is socially competent and a good family person.

2. Self-fulfilling prophecy

You are most likely to behave friendly with people you consider likable. This increases the chances of positive interaction. Similarly, you tend to be more standoffish with people you think are unlikable. This only leads to a negative interaction.

Effects of your LinkedIn profile picture

Similarly, any client you want to approach for a business transaction will develop a specific impression about you upon seeing your LinkedIn profile picture. As this impression will most likely remain consistent when you meet later, it's important for you to be careful and particular about your looks and appearance in the picture. While you cannot do much about how people will perceive you, you can at least do something to ensure your picture portrays you positively. Place some thought and importance in your wardrobe, makeup, hairstyle, facial expression, and body language. It will give a lasting and good positive first impression on someone. It's also worth doing some research to find out what vibes your picture sends. Try posting different photos over some time to see which photo seems to garner the most attention from LinkedIn users.
Benefits of having a professional profile picture

1. Improves online visibility

People tend to use the web and social media to learn more about or connect with someone they had met or had worked with before. They perform searches using names and images. So there is a quicker and better chance of their locating you if you have, and they see your profile picture.

2. Post in multiple social networks

If you have uploaded a professional picture of yourself to LinkedIn, then do the same to other social networks. You can connect better and strengthen your online identity by keeping a consistent profile picture across social networks. However, don't use the same profile picture if you prefer keeping your Facebook profile personal and separate.

3. Helps develop trust

With so many frauds occurring online, letting your online network and contacts know a bit about you, and associating the information with your profile picture make them feel as if they know and can trust you. Your contacts will grow as soon as you upload a new, clear, professional and friendly profile picture of yourself.

4. Formal is not always the best
You naturally assume that profile photos must be formally captured against a white background and you wearing formal office attire. While this may be necessary for some businesses, most businesses prefer a less formal approach. Therefore take photos with the environment, location, background, and clothing highlighting your personality the best. You can get some advice about clicking the right profile photos from professional photographers, or the internet. This is why it's worth hiring a professional photographer to click your profile photo. They will be able to capture some informal portraits of you and give you a collection of pictures highlighting your personality. Real Clear Software allows its clients to store contact images to help remind them who their vendors are keep their teams organized.

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