• career profile

    Get It: A Guide on Your Career Profile

    Welcome to the modern Digital Age, where technology and the Internet reign over our personal and professional lives.

    Whether or not you like it, your online presence significantly impacts possible career paths. In fact, around 75% of recruiters check social media profiles of potential employees. That seems like a great reason to take your online presence seriously!

    Don’t get left behind with unsophisticated or absent online networking profiles.

    Make sure you have the best online career profile to attract recruiters. There are many things you need to consider to remain professional and desirable as an employee.

    Continue reading for a guide on the best practices for your professional online presence.

    Start With a Profile Picture

    It may be said too often, but it’s still a very true statement: First impressions matter.

    It’s nothing to be vain about, but for your career profile, you need to get into the habit of promoting yourself as much as possible. This involves having a highly attractive, high-quality profile picture.

    When a user visits a website, he or she will naturally be drawn to the visual images first. Make the most pronounced image a well-developed, highly detailed, recent, high-quality professional headshot.

    There’s an emphasis on professional headshot. You don’t want future recruiters to see your profile picture feature a blurry one of you and your prom date at 18 years old.

    Use this headshot as the profile picture for every social and professional networking account, especially Twitter, Facebook, and Twitter, as these are the most impactful platforms.

    Not only should you stay consistent, but your profile is more likely to be taken seriously by fellow professionals. For example, internal information from LinkedIn shows that users with profile pictures received 21 times more profile reviews.

    Make Your Brand Consistent

    Speaking of consistent, the most successful brands throughout the Internet are repeatedly recognizable – emphasis on the word, repeatedly.

    Loyal customers easily recognize brands that appear visually similar throughout each social media platform. There are some important branding tips you need to follow to cultivate a reputable, impactful brand online.

    Use the same description of your skill set and career path throughout all of your online profiles (as well as the same headshot). This will naturally lead future employers to see you positively represented.

    Write the Perfect Bio/Summary

    That description of your skill set has a perfect place on the major online profiles. It’s called either a bio or a summary.

    Your career profile summary should be simple, clear, and defined. At the same time, you want to stand out, so do your best to make your brand’s tagline enticing and unique.

    For example, you might be a software developer, which is a perfect introduction to your career path. If you have experience working on a fun or interesting program (maybe a popular game or app), add that to your summary to show recruiters you have experience and enjoy what you do.

    A lot of experts suggest avoiding what might be called “fluff” in your profile summaries. That means avoid words like “innovative,” “dedicated,” “creative,” etc. Every professional should be all of those things – find another way to positively describe yourself.

    Come up with one short sentence that identifies you, specifically. Take your time with this tagline, as it is the second impression recruiters will evaluate after your professional headshot.

    Direct Your Career Profile to Target Your Desired Positions

    The rest of your online profiles should stem directly from that concise and engaging bio/summary.

    This is your opportunity to clarify exactly where you would like to see your career path take you. It should look very similar to your resume or CV (which would actually be a great PDF link on your profile somewhere).

    For example, you might have experience running a business’s social media, but you don’t want to continue working in that field. Well, you can mention it briefly to prove you are capable and experienced, but you don’t have to offer those services or expand on your expertise in the field.

    Only provide details about projects and positions that would relate to what you want to do in the future. Show some enthusiasm about that particular field, too.

    For sites like LinkedIn, there is plenty of room to outline your related experience and skill set.

    Regularly Curate Specific Social Media Content

    For some people, social media is something to dread and hate.

    It can be daunting to feel as though you always have to be cautious and professional, even though it’s pretty easy to let off some steam online. It’s the quickest way to vent to your friends and family – but that’s not necessarily a good thing!

    Remember that everything you post has a good chance of being seen by a potential employer (not to mention, perhaps, your grandmother). Not only that, but a well-developed content strategy could enhance your chances of hiring.

    A content strategy means you need to be active and involved in your field and/or area of expertise. A good practice to follow is promoting and sharing the content of leaders in your industry.

    To streamline the creation of appropriate and professional content for your online career profile, consider social media management applications. Hootsuite is one of the most popular ones, and it can help you schedule content in advance so that you don’t have to stress about what to post all week long.

    Connect With Similar Online Profiles

    Don’t forget you make sure to network with similar online profiles! Your professional career profile will be useless unless other people can find it!

    Connect with other people in your field of choice, and continue to remain active and engaged within those online communities. Potential employers would more easily be able to spot an involved and engaged social media profile.

    How Can We Help You?

    We know how important your online career profile is for your professional development. If you are looking to upgrade your online presence, start with the best headshot for all of your profiles.

    That’s what we’re here for. No matter where you are, we can connect you with a reputable photographer to bring out your “good side!” Check out our website to learn how it works, and we look forward to helping you take this crucial step to further your career.

  • your online presence

    Charisma 101: The Importance of Your Online Presence

    You are your own brand. Everything you post on social media says something about you.

    You might want to think about what you’re saying and who you’re saying it to.

    Your online presence is as important as your resume. Potential employers actually spend more time analyzing social media profiles than CVs. 92% of recruiters admit a candidate’s online presence can be the deciding factor.

    Keep reading to learn more about how to get the right attention with your online presence.

    Who Are You?

    Friends may get a kick out of your drunk as a skunk selfies in Mexico but potential employers aren’t smiling. You shouldn’t share everything about your life.

    More than half of employers say if they can’t find a profile it’s less likely the person will even get an interview. You can’t hide your online presence altogether.

    Recruiters, dates, and potential connections determine who you are through your online presence. It’s important to realize what your profiles say about you.

    Is Your Online Presence a Match?

    Potential employers and dates aren’t only checking to see if you are a match for them. They also want to ensure what you’ve told them matches your life.

    Employment history, education, and personality are each scrutinized on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Instagram photos tell a lot about your personality and personal life. These are all considered by potential business and personal contacts.

    It Was Only a Joke

    The things you find funny and comments you make as a joke may not be amusing to potential employers or dates. Everything you like, comment on, or retweet makes a statement about you. It may be an innocent comment but could change a recruiter’s entire perspective on you.

    Badmouthing bosses and customers online is something future employers won’t appreciate. Trashing an ex may scare off a potential partner. They may want to avoid the same berating if things didn’t work out.

    Picture It!

    Your online presence should help potential employers and dates picture you with them. The things you say, do, and photos you post online all represent you as an employee and person.

    We all do things in our spare time and say things to friends we would never repeat at work. If your profile lists an employer or if you mention your workplace you are representing them.

    More businesses are checking up on employees and staff online. People have lost their jobs because of inappropriate behavior and comments posted online.

    You can’t call in sick and post pictures of you enjoying the day at the cottage. You don’t want friends tagging you in the wrong photos either. It’s not just about your content as you can get penalized because who you associate with.

    That’s What Friends Are For

    You can be judged by the actions of those you associate with. Every friend’s post you comment on or photo you’re tagged in can have consequences.

    The comments they leave on your posts may also reflect poorly on you. Privacy settings are important in managing what the world can see. Jokes shared between friends are best kept between friends.

    Friends and coworkers can help build your reputation by posting positive references and comments. LinkedIn is a great place for your friends who know your skills to talk you up.

    Word of mouth references are not just helpful when promoting businesses. Many people land the perfect job because they knew someone who knew someone at the company. Social media has allowed you to have an international audience.

    People trust word of mouth referrals above any other form of marketing. This can be beneficial to you when looking for work or a relationship. Friends can help you get the kind of exposure you want.

    Choose Your Words Wisely

    Even when you attempt to promote yourself to the right job or person you may be losing them with your wording. It’s important to accentuate the positive in a unique way that makes you stand out from others.

    Standard interview buzzwords won’t lift you above any of the other candidates. They are all using words like motivated, passionate, and driven. Using these types of words doesn’t tell them how you’ll add to the team they have.

    Demonstrate ways you’ve proven your motivation, passion, and drive. Give examples of ways you’ve saved your employers’ money. Explain how you solve customer service issues and prove your worth as an employee.

    Grammar Police Are Taking Notes

    You go online to relax and be yourself but you say a lot about who you are with the language you use. Spelling and grammar mistakes can turn a potential employer off. They are looking for someone who’s articulate and professional.

    Profanity, rants, and rude comments can make recruiters leery of even giving you a chance. Posts filled with vulgarity or mistakes can lead to not getting a job you really want.

    It’s crucial that your online presence always puts you in a good light. If you come across as whiny, mean, or ungrateful in your profile content it will be hard to convince viewers that you aren’t.

    Make Sure You Shine

    Many of us post things on Facebook or Twitter for our friends and family to see. It’s vital that you remember people who don’t know you well will see it too.

    If you want to be seen as professional a picture of you doing body shots isn’t the right image to use for your profile. A professional headshot commands more respect. A good photo gives recruiters a better impression than candid party shots.

    Get feedback from friends and family regarding your profile. They may see things you don’t that are holding you back or give the wrong impression. Your profile picture and bio will form the first impression employers get. You want it to be one that makes them want to meet you.

    Ensure your bio for every profile in your online presence match your resume. The length of employment, education, and skills should all coincide. Even small discrepancies can hamper your chances of being hired.

    Be the Best You

    Your online presence can elevate you to new heights in real life. You can use it as a tool to network with professional and personal contacts. A little thought and planning can make sure that what they see is all the best in you.

    Contact us today for more information on making the online you as impressive as the real you.

  • professional skills

    What Are the Top Professional Skills You Should List on Your LinkedIn Profile?

    If you’re new to setting up online profiles, you might wonder where to start and how it all works. Even if you’re experienced when it comes creating your profile online, there are always a few things you can learn along the way.

    Besides your resume, your online profile is the one place that prospective employers can get a feel for who you are. It’s here that they will learn about your previous work history and education before they even meet you.

    That’s why it’s so important to make sure your profile looks professional.

    There are a lot of things to consider when putting together a business profile. Your goal should be to convey your personality, but not too much. And, of course, you’ll need to list out your skills so that employers will know whether you’re a match or not.

    In this article, we’re discussing 10 professional skills you need on your online profile. Keep reading to learn more.

    Works Well With Others

    Many companies revolve around team environments. Employers want to know that the people they intend to hire work well with others. They also know that a friendly office environment can improve morale and job satisfaction.

    Make sure to list ‘teamwork’ or other similar words in the skills and qualifications section of your profile so employers can see it. Avoid terms like ‘friendly,’ and choose phrases like ‘team-oriented’ instead.

    Independent

    Just as teamwork is an important aspect of running a successful company, independence and the ability to work alone matter too.

    Employers want to know that job candidates have a mind of their own so that ideas are more likely to be unique. Independence also indicates strength and mental agility.

    You can be creative with your expression of independence in the workplace. Phrase it so that your employer knows that it’s not your only best skill but one that stands out.

    Communication

    Regardless of how well you work on your own or in a team environment, it doesn’t matter if you can’t communicate effectively.

    Written and verbal communication is one of the first professional skills employers look for in prospective candidates. They want to be sure the candidates can clearly express themselves and get to the point of matters.

    In business, effective communication can mean the difference between success and failure.

    Problem Solving

    If you’re a good problem solver, then why wouldn’t you put it on your profile? Companies rely on those who can navigate unexpected challenges.

    In case you choose to list this at the top of your professional skills, make sure you can follow up with an example during interviews. Employers will hire candidates based on how they came up with a solution over why.

    Adaptability

    You can also think of this as flexibility, meaning that you’re capable of handling whatever is thrown your way. Employers want staff that can adapt to changes while remaining flexible enough to work through problems.

    If you’re adaptable in a certain arena, such as technology, list it on your profile so employers know what questions to ask when they meet you.

    Attitude

    Personal development in the workplace is desired and admired because it shows that you want to perform your best.

    Employers are concerned with how well you will evolve in an environment that is constantly changing or stays the same. No matter what the situation, they want to make sure you won’t bring others down with a bad attitude.

    List ‘lifelong learner’ or ‘self-motivated’ as professional skills on your profile where employers will find it.

    Critical Thinking

    Critical thinking skills are a huge asset because companies thrive on them in most situations.

    Decision making and problem-solving go hand in hand. Employers want to know that you have the skills to think your way out of things.

    Critical thinking has been known to save both time and money which is important for businesses. So, don’t leave it off of your profile!

    Presentation Skills

    Your online profile is a presentation in itself. If you’re not confident about it, then don’t add presentation skills on your page. But if you’re the type of person who enjoys getting in front of people and sharing information, list it.

    Employers need people they can count on when it comes to making formal presentations and putting together business materials.

    Analytical

    Besides solving problems and thinking critically, it’s important to have analytical skills in the business world. Many employers in the field of research will seek this skill specifically.

    List your previous work where analytical skills were required. Also, be prepared for the interview because the employer will probably ask questions about it.

    Leadership

    If you’ve held a leadership position or proven yourself as a leader in the workplace, list it in your profile.

    Employers look for people with a lot of self-confidence. Plus, it’s no secret that such people are usually natural leaders.

    If possible, include leadership roles that you’ve had, and skills that you’ve polished along the way.

    Beyond Professional Skills

    Your LinkedIn profile, or any online profile, is seen by people who are searching for information about you. Make sure that your presentation is professional.

    Include a quality photo that puts you in a positive light. Refrain from sharing pictures that were taken in inappropriate settings, such as a bar or club.

    Also, keep things simple. Don’t overcompensate with too much information.

    List out only enough information to provide the reader with a synopsis of your personality and what you’re capable of. Leave the rest of the details for the interview. Basically, you want the reader to feel confident that contacting you won’t be a waste of time.

    If you need help with your profile, contact us. We can help you organize your profile with a professional photo and more.

  • branding yourself online

    7 Tips For Branding Yourself Online

    If you have ever tried to have a conversation about branding yourself online, it can seem like a difficult and daunting thing. But don’t let that scare you away! There are simple and easy ways to improve your online image.

    Start today by using these seven tricks to build a strong persona on the web. Then, in no time you will see improvement in your audience response and brand positioning.

    1. Decide What Label to Choose for Yourself

    Before you can establish yourself online, you have to decide what you want to brand yourself as. Are you a student? A copywriter? A tutor? A consultant?

    It’s possible that you are all of these things. But, you need to narrow it down to what labels are the most important.

    When someone comes across your profile online, the first thing they are going to ask themselves is, “Who is this person?” Stating the answer to that right on your home page is the best way to be sure you are the only one defining you.

    As you continue to work on new projects, the labels you want to use may change. You can always go back and make edits. But for now, choose what to brand yourself as and make it your own.

    2. Pick One Photo to Represent Your Brand

    Being consistent when you are branding yourself online is very important. You want people to be able to recognize you. That is why it is really important to have a photo.

    Choose just one professional headshot that you has been taken of you and use it for everything. If you have never had a professional photo taken, then you should begin to look for a photographer today. Use a backdrop that is neutral or natural to keep things looking professional.

    In a way, this photo will function as your logo. People will look for it when they want to identify you. By using the same photo across all social networks, you can create a consistent personal brand in one easy step.

    3. Write 3 Different Bios, Then Choose

    Now that you defined your brand, you need to get the message out. Take some time to write down a very general, rough-draft of what you want your bio to say.

    From that draft, you will have seeds to write three different bios.

    Twitter

    One of the best channels to spread a message is Twitter. Bios used on this site must be 160 characters or less. You should feel free to tie this bio to your business’ Twitter page and use any relevant hashtags.

    LinkedIn

    LinkedIn has become an important way for people to verify someone’s status as a professional. If you have not yet made a LinkedIn profile, you should get one now.

    When you are writing your bio for LinkedIn you need to be more professional with your tone. Within reason, you can make it as long or as short as you like. But, be sure to get the point across about your experience, professional background, and goals for the future.

    Your CV

    Lastly, you will need a short bio to use on your CV or whenever an application asks you to jot down a few lines about yourself. This is a form of an elevator pitch.

    Make sure you get to the point in a hurry and communicate what makes you unique.

    No matter what you write in your bios, just make sure that you stay consistent. You should tell your audience the same thing about your brand on every platform. You just need to use a slightly different voice based on what social network you are using.

    4. Buy Your Domain

    If you don’t yet own your name online, you should buy it now. Branding yourself online is all about creating the right image, and having the rights to your domain is a big part of doing that.

    One of the easiest ways to buy your domain name is to go to GoDaddy. Type in your full name to see if it is still available. If it isn’t you can try using a middle initial. Or, you could try putting the word ‘the’ in front of your name.

    Whatever you are able to get, you should use consistently. Make it the same name that you use for your Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, Gmail address, and any other social media network you are using.

    5. Show the World Your Expertise

    Everything written on the internet is not true, and most people will know that you are trying to brand yourself online. Some may just believe you, but many will want evidence.

    The best way to show that you are an expert in your realm is to talk about it. Write often about the field you are in and find interesting topics to discuss with your audience.

    You can also create videos for your site visitors or share slide shows with them. Anything you can do to grab your audience’s attention and demonstrate your expertise should be done.

    6. Make Sure You Google Yourself

    Before you start branding yourself online, you need to check out where you stand currently. Eventually, someone looking for your website is going to Google your name and you should know what will come up.

    One thing to note is that many people created Google+ profiles and never used them. Any place your bio is blank can raise flags for your credibility. Just put one of the bios you wrote on it, add a photo, and share the occasional blog post from your website on your Google+ page.

    7. Connect With Your Audience

    Spread your brand’s message through all the content you share and every interaction you have online. Continue to build an audience as you work with others.

    Be consistent in your messaging and share your expertise with your audience. Then you will have the online presence you desire.

    More Tips for Branding Yourself Online

    Branding yourself online is all about being consistent and knowing what your audience needs to hear. By sharing your expertise and using the same keywords in your bios you can begin to craft an online following.

    If you need a photo taken for your online profile, contact us today.

  • profile picture

    A Profile Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

    The image that you choose as your profile picture can speak volumes.

    Most people realize that their profile image matters. But they may not realize the profound impact that this one photo can really make.

    The way that you present yourself in the photo attached to your profile has an astounding influence on others’ perceptions of you.

    In fact, when comparing the effects of a profile pic to the effects of a profile bio, OK Cupid found that the text determines less than 10% of your impression on others. The picture makes up for 90% or more of what others think about you.

    Does your profile picture show off the person that you want the world to see? Find out if your picture is saying all of the right things, or sending a message that’s all wrong.

    Read on to learn how to choose a great image for your profile!

    Your Profile Picture: the First Impression You Make

    The image of you depicted on your profile is often the first impression that you’ll make to others you meet.

    From our dating lives to our career moves, many of our introductions are now being made online versus face to face.

    Researchers say that more than 90% of recruiters are now checking out your profile, and using what they see to form their first impression of you.

    Psychologists Todorov Alexander and Janine Willis from Princeton University conducted a study on how long it takes to form a first impression based on facial images. They found that in no more than a tenth of a second, we’re able to surmise our perception of someone when seeing them for the first time.

    You’ll never get another chance to make a first impression. And, the first impression tends to stick.

    Even if you could change a negative first impression that’s been made based on a photo of you, the chance of you getting the opportunity is highly unlikely.

    If someone doesn’t like what they see, it’s doubtful that they will pursue further contact, be it a date, or an interview, or another type of relationship. There’s no telling how many friendships, romantic interests, or work relationships have been nixed due to an unflattering profile picture.

    How We’re Ranked

    Now that we’ve established that your profile picture influences what others think about you, you might be wondering what factors into others’ impressions. What exactly is it that attracts others to you, or makes them want to “swipe left”?

    Couldn’t we just examine what we, ourselves, find attractive when we scroll through the endless Insta-images, facebook feeds, career-based profiles, the varied internet matchmaking sites, or any of the other social media platforms?

    Maybe.

    But, probably not.

    There are several factors that others use to gauge your appearance. The reason they are difficult to pinpoint (especially through a method of self-examination) is that many of these are mostly a matter of the subconscious.

    Unfair, perhaps. But, nevertheless, these subconsciously observed traits are the ones that others use to form an opinion of you. And, it’s highly likely that these traits have been the motivation behind getting a job, or a friend request, at the very least.

    The Features That Matter

    Researchers from the University of York studied 1,000 images of faces in order to determine which features might help make a good impression. They identified 65 features which potentially affect one’s impression when associated with the image of a person’s face.

    For each of these features (such as nose curve and cheekbone position), they measured its effect on approachability, dominance, and youthfulness.

    High levels of approachability were mostly attributed to an open smile. Youthfulness and attractiveness, which seemed to go hand in hand, were mostly determined by large, magnetic eyes. The variety of features associated with dominance were typically those viewed as masculine traits.

    All of us can put on a great, big smile. But, the chances of us altering our features to appear more masculine or changing the shape or appearance of our eyes is unlikely.

    Putting Your Best Face Forward

    The good news is that there are some tips and tricks that will help you take your best shot in front of the camera.

    Do:

    • Smile with your teeth
    • Don’t obstruct your eyes (take your glasses off for the shot!)
    • Aim for approachable
    • Face the light
    • Leave out the friends, family, kids, and pets (your profile should feature a picture of YOU)
    • Wear versatile or professional clothing (no swimsuit or shirtless shots, no pics in Christmas PJs or beauty pageant wear)

    Don’t:

    • Look down or use a side-profile shot
    • Use a blurry, obviously amateur, or silly pic
    • Use a photo that’s older than a year or two
    • Use the family photo, wedding photo, or any photo that obviously celebrates an occasion
    • Try to look or dress sexy or cutesy (it lowers your credibility and isn’t as appealing overall)

    It may be best to set aside a time for a “photo-shoot” rather than pilfer through piles of polaroid pics in search of “the one”.

    Try not to be nervous when taking photos, as that can leak through to your audience.

    Most of all, smile and be yourself. After all, you want them to see who you really are and the best way to show them is by being you.

    Go Pro

    One of the most common questions people wonder is whether or not they should have professional shots taken to use on their profile.

    In a nutshell, you usually can’t go wrong when you go with a pro who knows what they’re doing.

    Let’s face it, your friends, family, and co-workers probably don’t have any professional experience as a photographer. While they may be able to capture the rare great “nailed-it” pic, you’re more likely to exhaust yourself after taking what seems like hundreds of pictures and not having any that you deem usable.

    Instead, make it easy on yourself and hire a pro right from the start. That way, you have a set time to shoot images, and they know exactly what it takes to capture your best shot. It saves you time, frustration, and there are several reasonably priced options to fit your budget.

    If you want a great profile picture, book your appointment with a professionally trained photographer now!

  • online profile

    Here’s How a Skeletal Online Profile Hurts You

    Our online profiles tell the world who we are. They’re like the new business cards, and almost everyone has one. Eighty-one percent of people in the U.S. have a social media profile.

    Across the world, that number swells to almost two billion people. With that many eyes on your profile pages, you need them looking great.

    There’s no excuse for skeletal looking online profiles, and they’ll only hurt you in the long run. Everyone from friends to employers looks at your social media. In fact, 91 percent of recruiters admit to using some form of social media to find high-quality candidates. You could actually lose out on job opportunities because of a poor profile.

    Don’t believe us? Take a look at the ins and outs of why having a skeletal online profile hurts you.

    Employers

    In terms of time and money lost, the number one place having a skeletal online profile hurts you is among employers.

    From Facebook to LinkedIn, employers use social media to get a better idea of who you are as a person. While you don’t want less than savory pictures on Facebook, you don’t want a blank LinkedIn profile either.

    87 percent of recruiters find LinkedIn the most successful platform for vetting employees. And one of their biggest turn-offs? Incomplete profiles.

    Cassandre Joseph, senior talent acquisition visionary at recruitment firm Korn Ferry, said per FastCompany that incomplete profiles make a bad first impression.

    It’s like real-life introductions at an interview. You wouldn’t shake someone’s hand while only telling them your name, and then neglect to say anything more.

    The same goes for LinkedIn. Why have a professional profile if it doesn’t list your complete work history, in detail.

    If you’re leaving things blank, it’s probably better to forge any profile at all. At least that was you’re not misrepresenting yourself to potential employers.

    Instead of keeping your profile so barebones, fill it out correctly. LinkedIn is simple, and it’s easy to add your work history, job descriptions, skills, and network with other people.

    Which brings us to another point. Employers want to see your LinkedIn network growing. The nature of the site is social networking, so you need to network.

    Having a LinkedIn page without the networking aspect is shouting to employers that you’re only taking your professional online presence half seriously.

    Dates

    41 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds admit to using social media to find out more about a potential date. That’s almost half the population in that demographic. Certainly nothing to scoff at.

    So why then, would you leave your online profile bare and boring when you’re aware your potential dates could see it?

    You wouldn’t! That’s the only answer that makes sense. There’s nothing good about keeping a skeletal profile when you’re out in the dating world. And we’re talking any online profile. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn.

    People can follow your online presence across all of your social media. If you’re dating you’ll need interesting information, flattering and fun pictures, your interests etc.

    Now, that doesn’t mean to go shouting your political options from the rooftops just to fill out your Twitter feed. That’s not doing yourself any favors.

    However, it does mean keeping your online profiles up-to-date with interesting information about your life.Think about what you like to do. What makes you smile. You hobbies etc. If you wouldn’t say it out loud, don’t add it to your profile.

    But at the same time if it positively reflects you as a person, post it already!

    Friends and Family

    Depending on your goals here, our advice might differ slightly. It’s all about if you’re trying to keep people in the loop or become Instagram famous.

    Let’s take a look at why a barebones profile is bad for either goal.

    Keeping People Informed

    Your friends and family love you, and they want to know how you’re doing. Today, that means checking in on social media.

    You could live anywhere, and who has time for phone calls anymore? Even texting takes too long in today’s fast-paced world.

    But what doesn’t take very long, is seeing what someone’s up to on social media. In only a few clicks or scrolls of the finger, your friends and family can have the complete picture of what you’re doing.

    But if your profile isn’t complete, they won’t know anything! Keep your life updates rolling in so people know how you’re doing.

    Updated pictures are a must, as are updates on new boyfriends and girlfriends. Social media is how we communicate. Don’t shut your loved ones out.

    Socially Famous

    While the idea of social fame came around thanks to the exploits of one Paris Hilton, social fame has evolved since then.

    Today, anyone with an Instagram profile and something to say can become socially famous. Even Twitter sees its fair share of superstar users.

    And YouTube? While not traditional social media, it’s an online profile must for anyone trying to increase their social fame.

    But people won’t follow someone who’s not sharing. Remember, you’re selling yourself to your fans, and that means selling your life. In a good way.

    They want to know the latest and greatest in your life and consume your content. It’s an honor, but not one you’ll get without beefing up that profile.

    You need fresh pictures and fresh ideas to wow people into following you.

    Maximizing Your Online Profile

    When we say online profile, we’re referring to your entire online presence. Everything’s connected, and so every profile makes up one large online “you.”

    And we want that online you to shine! If you’re ready to take the next step and upgrade your social media presence, you’ll need some killer headshots.

    That’s where we come in. Our job is making you look great online. We employ only the best photographers skilled in the new art of photography for social media.

    We’re confident our staff can make your profile pop! Are you ready to revamp that skeletal online profile?

    Take the first step with the best professional photographs today!

  • LinkedIn profile

    10 Words to Avoid on Your LinkedIn Profile (And How to Spruce it Up!)

    LinkedIn now has more than 500 million users.

    If you want to stand out, you’ll need to avoid buzzwords that recruiters have seen a thousand times before. Some words are used so often that they eventually lose all meaning for the reader.

    In this post, you’ll learn the 10 words to avoid so you can tell potential employers what they really need to know. You’ll also learn how you can communicate your skills and expertise in your LinkedIn profile without relying on buzzwords.

    Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.

    1. Motivated

    This is one of those words that doesn’t tell recruiters much about your attitude. Anyone can claim to be “motivated,” so it’s an ineffective word to communicate your ambition.

    It’s like if you were to describe your own career as “legendary.” That’s not how it works–someone else needs to say it for you.

    2. Passionate

    Claiming you’re passionate about maximising ROI or minimizing WIP sounds a little over the top. Most people use this word because they’re aiming to set themselves apart from others when it really does the opposite.

    Use words like “specialize” or “concentrate” instead. Even better, share results that prove how focused you really are.

    3. Creative

    The word “creative” is one of the most commonly used words on LinkedIn. Instead of using this word, consider highlighting your creativity by making your profile eye-catching. Add presentations, videos, and pictures to the “experience” section.

    Think of interesting ways to stand out. Tell stories that use results and numbers. Describe your creative accomplishments in concrete terms.

    4. Driven

    Maybe your LinkedIn profile states that you’re customer driven. Or perhaps you’re data-driven. Or maybe you’re simply using “driven” alone.

    No matter how you’re using this word, it’s similar to “inspired” or “motivated” and tells recruiters nothing about you.

    Instead of using filler words, use LinkedIn to request recommendations from clients, colleagues, and managers. When you make your request, you could even mention that you’d love if they’d highlight your motivation and drive.

    Recommendations are listed in your profile right underneath your experience. These will allow you to “show” instead of “tell” your audience who you are.

    5. Responsible

    This is another word that doesn’t say much. Isn’t everyone responsible to some extent? You can also be responsible for a certain activity, which is just a boring way of telling people that you did something.

    Let’s say you work as a social media marketer. Instead of saying you’re “responsible for social campaigns,” write that you grew conversions by 60% through three social channels.

    “Responsible” is passive language that can easily be changed to an active expression. Instead of telling people what you’re responsible for, tell them what you’ve accomplished. Achievements will always be more impressive than responsibilities.

    6. Strategic

    If you’re using the word “strategic” you probably recognize that employers are most concerned about your ability to do the job. But this is another opportunity to show instead of tell.

    To showcase your strategic thinking skills, you need to use concrete terms. Highlight some of the different initiatives you kickstarted and the problems they solved for your company or team.

    7. Expert

    Have you ever noticed that true experts never actually describe themselves as experts in a particular field? While it’s great to be called an expert, you shouldn’t ever claim to be one.

    Once again, this is when you need to demonstrate your expertise. How?

    Build a LinkedIn profile with recommendations, concrete experience, and numerous accomplishments. This will demonstrate your expertise much more effectively than the word “expert” ever could.

    8. Track Record

    We all have a track record. This track record may be good or bad, but it’s guaranteed to be “proven” (this word usually goes hand-in-hand with “track record”).

    “Track record” actually implies some great things. You’ve done a lot of things, and hopefully, many of these things were awesome. You’ve made things happen, gotten results, and impacted your team or company in a meaningful way.

    Since you have a “proven track record”, you can share some facts and figures to demonstrate this. Describe waste percentages, social media followers, on-time performance rates, or even under-budget statistics. Use these numbers to prove your track record.

    9. Organizational

    This is another filler word that really means nothing at all. It’s often followed by other words such as:

    • Organizational behavior
    • Organizational optimization
    • Organizational communication
    • Organizational development

    Consider whether any of the above actually give readers a good sense of your skills. There are probably multiple ways you could describe your role and tasks without using the word “organizational.”

    When recruiters read these terms, they’re more likely to roll their eyes than think, Wow this person shows organizational behavior, I should get in touch.

    10. Extensive Experience

    Yawn.

    Sure, you could have “extensive experience” in social media or web design. But the number of years you’ve been doing something doesn’t indicate whether you’re any good at it. You could be terrible at social media or the worst programmer around.

    What employers want to see is what you’ve done. What percentage did you increase your company’s social media followers by? How many back-end systems did you install? What kind of applications have you developed?

    Your LinkedIn profile will automatically show visitors how long you worked in a certain position when you add your dates. No one cares how long you’ve been doing a certain job unless you can demonstrate that you’re also getting solid results.

    Is It Time to Update Your LinkedIn Profile?

    As you can see, your LinkedIn profile should primarily be about proving your worth (professionally). Instead of using wishy-washy terms that are standard across almost every profile, focus on real results.

    Describing yourself as “creative” and “strategic” may sound good when you’re writing your profile. But although they’re familiar, they certainly don’t stand out to recruiters.

    Communicating your expertise and skills takes work. With a little editing, your LinkedIn profile will help you stand out from the competition.

    Need a new picture for your profile? Check out our packages today.

  • facebook profile

    How to Clean Up Your Facebook Profile for Future Employers

    Over 9 out 10 employers use social media as part of their recruiting process.

    More than half of these employers will check your Facebook profile to get the info they need. So if your Facebook features things you wouldn’t want a hiring manager to see, it might be time to do some cleaning up.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should deactivate or delete your Facebook account. Nearly three-fifths of employers admit that not having an online presence hurts your chances of getting an interview. Having the right content on your profile can actually help you land the job you’ve been eyeing.

    Let’s look at what steps you can take to fix your profile before submitting your next job application!

    Delete Unflattering Posts

    Employers want to find out whether you’ll be a good fit for their company culture. Provocative posts are too risky to keep on your Facebook profile.

    For starters, get rid of any posts about how you should be studying instead of doing something else. This gives a terrible first impression.

    If you’ve ever badmouthed a former employer or boss, go ahead and remove those too. Keep in mind that any posts attacking anybody reflect poorly on you, even if they’re lighthearted.

    Do Some Proofreading

    One of the primary traits employers look for in a candidate is good communication skills. There’s only one way to gauge this from a Facebook profile: the writing.

    Unfortunately, hiring managers aren’t very forgiving when it comes to writing mistakes. Over 3 out 5 employers look down on applicants with poor spelling and grammar.

    To avoid any issues, proofread every post you write before submitting it. Delete or hide older posts that feature poor spelling and capitalization. Don’t forget to check the spelling and grammar on your about page too.

    Use a Professional Profile Pic

    The best way to make a good first impression is by having a high-quality profile pic. This doesn’t just apply to dating websites. A good Facebook profile photo improves your odds of getting a job interview by up to 40%.

    You want to look confident and positive in your profile pic. To accomplish this, focus on giving and genuine smile, and avoid a gloomy background. Also, make sure the lighting is flattering.

    In most cases, a selfie with a smartphone camera won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Consider hiring a professional photographer that specializes in taking profile photos.

    Make sure to get rid of any cover photos that looks unprofessional as well. A poor cover photo can look completely out of place on your page after you update your profile pic.

    Hide Your Friends

    Your potential employers can tell a lot about you from the people you associate with. But you can’t control what your friends post on Facebook. As a result, you’re better off hiding them from the rest of the world.

    Follow these steps to hide your friend list from the public:

    1. Click on the “Friends” option right under your cover photo.
    2. Click on the pencil icon and select “Edit Privacy.”
    3. Under “Friend List,” choose between the “Friends” and “Only Me” options.

    Turn on Timeline Review and Tag Review

    Even after you hide your friends, they can still hurt your chances of landing a job.

    If your timeline review is set to off, sketchy photos and posts tagged with your name will show up on your wall. Also, if tag review is set to off, your friends can tag your pictures without your approval.

    To turn on timeline review and tag review at the same time, follow these three simple steps:

    1. Click the downward facing blue arrow on the top right of your Facebook page.
    2. Select “Timeline and Tagging.”
    3. Click “Edit” and enable both options under the “Review” section.

    Double Check Your Likes

    Obviously, your potential employers want to get an idea of your likes and hobbies. But if you’re like many of us, there are probably a few you would rather not share with them.

    You can remove specific likes one by one. But you can also hide your likes from hiring managers by doing the following:

    1. Click on “Timeline” on your Facebook profile.
    2. Hover over the “More” option.
    3. Click on “Likes.”
    4. Click on the pencil icon.
    5. Choose the “Edit the Privacy of Your Likes” option.
    6. Change the privacy options for your desired categories

    Most likely, your favorite restaurants or clothing lines won’t work against you. But your political affiliations and taste in music, for example, certainly can.

    Update Your Personal Information

    In some cases, hiring managers may check to see if the qualifications listed on your profile match up with those on your resume. Therefore, it’s a good idea to update your education and work history on your profile. Make sure the skills you list are relevant to the job you’re applying for as well.

    When it comes to your relationship status, avoid using “It’s Complicated,” even if it’s true. All it does is highlight the fact that you’re going through personal issues.

    Find out How Others See Your Profile

    When you’re signed into Facebook, you only see your page from your perspective. To find out what potential employers will see when they visit your Facebook profile, follow these two steps:

    • Tap the ellipses on your profile page.
    • Choose the “View As” option.

    This will give you a glimpse what content is available to the public when they visit your page. It’s a great way to ensure you did all the previous steps correctly.

    If everything looks good, you should be ready to proceed with your job hunt.

    Final Thoughts on Cleaning up Your Facebook Profile

    The main thing that employers want to find out from your Facebook profile is whether you present yourself professionally. Do your best to project a positive, truthful, creative, grounded, and intelligent image.

    Don’t neglect your profile picture, as it’s the first thing your employer will notice. If you can’t get a high-quality photo on your own, hire a professional photographer.

    Once your Facebook page is nice and tidy, do a quick Google search of yourself to see what else you can do to clean up your online image for employers.

    Have you spruced up your LinkedIn yet? If not, check out our posts for improving your LinkedIn profile.

  • online dating profile

    How to Optimize Your Online Dating Profile

    These days, if you’re single, chances are that you’re online dating. After all, why leave it all up to chance when you can take charge of your own destiny, and get the ball rolling?

    That being said, slapping any old pictures on your profiles and cracking a few cheesy jokes in your bio isn’t going to cut it. If you want to capture the attention of a potential mate, you’re going to need to get creative and stand out.

    After all, a third of people who have online dating profiles have never gone on a date through them. What does this mean?

    We’ve all got to step up our game!

    Keep reading to discover how to optimize your online dating profile to make more connections, get more dates, and increase your chances of finding the one!

    Make a Strong First Impression

    First thing’s first, let’s talk about what most people focus on when initially viewing your online dating profile — your picture.

    Now look, we know you may love that snap of the giant fish you caught last summer. Or perhaps that hilarious group Halloween costume from a few years ago.

    But these vague pics aren’t going to pique anyone’s interest!

    So when you’re focusing on optimizing your online dating profile, try to look at it from another person’s point of view. Can they see what you currently look like, in a flattering light? Does your personality shine without coming on too strong?

    Place your best photo first to leave potential partners wanting more.

    What Is the Perfect Online Dating Profile Photo?

    And speaking of photos, let’s dive into the details of how they should look.

    Remember that when viewing online profiles, people are judging you with the utmost scrutiny. After all, it’s only human nature.

    Attractive attributes like flawless skin, symmetrical faces, and great physiques all give human beings subtle queues that the owner of these attributes is healthy and would produce healthy children. Whether we realize it or not, it’s in our DNA to judge others based on appearance!

    So keep this in mind when taking and selecting these photos. For example, an underwater shot of a person scuba diving would show that they’re in good physical shape, they’re brave, and they’re adventurous.

    And if you’re sifting through the photos on your Facebook and nothing’s really standing out, don’t stress. We live in a bustling digital age where you can hire people to help you with that!

    Use Your Word Count Carefully

    Okay, now that you’ve got some killer photos, let’s move onto your bio optimization. Different online dating websites and apps have different word count restrictions, so make sure you check out these differences to see what you’re working with.

    For example, if you’re on apps like Tinder or Bumble, you’ll have five hundred characters (or less) to draw someone in. So you better make them count!

    The name of the game here is to be clever and genuine. People are attracted to a great sense of humor, but if your whole bio is a joke, then they won’t be able to see any of the real you.

    So, how do you achieve this balance? Let’s check out some examples of what to do and what not to do.

    Bad Examples

    “Hi, I’m Tanya. I’m 43 years old and I’m an accountant. I like shopping and going out to eat. I’m looking for a long-term partner.”

    Wow- that was boring. Just listing facts about yourself is never a good idea. Next!

    “I may be short, but I make up for it in other ways. Look, ladies- I know I’m not the tallest or best-looking guy in the room, but I PROMISE I’ll show you a good time! Swipe past all these other losers and get to the real deal!”

    This bio is attempting humor and failing, is aggressive, and just plain uncomfortable to read.

    Good Example

    “Spur of the moment trips to London. A hot cup of coffee watching the sunrise. Late nights dancing salsa at my favorite local bar. It’s true, although I’m a respected businessman five days a week, I have an adventurous side too. So tell me… are we having red, white, or rose??”

    Showing off your spontaneous and cultured side is a good move. And ending your bio with a question to get the conversation flowing will help to make a smooth transition into a message for your match.

    I Got A Match… Now What?

    To optimize your total online dating profile experience, you have to think beyond just the pics and bios. How you use these apps and sites to your advantage after you’ve matched with someone, is just as important as getting the match itself.

    Here are the key elements to making conversation easy for your match and for yourself.

    Spelling and Grammar Matter

    Don’t get sloppy once you start chatting with someone. Poor spelling and grammar will make a bad first impression! Make sure that you triple-check to ensure that you’re displaying your best self.

    Shared Interests

    The only way you’ll discover shared interests is by talking about yours and asking about theirs! Whether it’s work or hobbies, this is a great place to start to find out what you two have in common.

    Pick-up Lines Fall Flat

    If you want to make a strong start, ask your match a thought-provoking but lighthearted question. Steer clear of cringeworthy pick-up lines, even if you think it might make them laugh.

    And Remember, Be Yourself!

    What’s the best advice we can give you about optimizing your online dating profile? Be yourself!

    Sure, it sounds cheesy, but it truly is the most important part of dating online. If you stay true to your unique personality when you meet up with someone, you can feel confident that they will like you for who you are — not who you’ve been pretending to be.

    Need Help?

    Are you feeling a little overwhelmed? You’re not alone.

    The world of online dating can feel like a bit of a maze, especially if you’re new on the scene. And even with the guide above, optimizing your online dating profile can be downright difficult, especially if you’re lacking all the material you need.

    Thankfully, you’re in the right place. Contact us anytime and we’d be happy to help you get started!

  • profile photo

    The Do’s and Don’ts of Your LinkedIn Profile Photo

    There are plenty of different kinds of profile pictures.

    But when it comes to your LinkedIn profile, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

    So don’t underestimate the importance of keeping your profile photo professional.

    After all, you’re on LinkedIn to present yourself as an expert in your field. And how you’re viewed can literally make or break a deal.

    If you currently have a photo on your profile that you just pulled off your photostream, you need to be sure it’s not giving the wrong impression.

    Read on to find out what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to getting that perfect photo for LinkedIn.

    What’s Cool for Your LinkedIn Profile Photo?

    These might seem pretty straightforward, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t take the following into consideration:

    1. Make Yourself Look Approachable

    What does your LinkedIn profile photo say about you? It should convey that you’re friendly, personable and – simply put – someone with whom it would be a pleasure to work.

    At the risk of sounding like a creepy guy addressing a woman: don’t be afraid to smile. We’re not talking a model fashion shoot with over the top with dazzling pearly whites. Just a natural smile.

    And forget the rigid and serious expression. Because if your photo can be likened to a mugshot, then the visual message will be that working with you is like being in prison.

    Finally, dress according to your profession. In other words, what do you wear to work each day? If you’re a lawyer or in finance, then go for business professional. If you’re a designer or work in IT, then something more casual will suffice.

    2. Use a Recent Photo

    And by all means, keep it updated. If you put up a photo that was recent eight years ago when you first got your account, it’s time to change it.

    A photo that looks outdated implies that you don’t stay current with your LinkedIn account and aren’t all that concerned with investing in your branding.

    This isn’t to say that you need to be hypervigilant and constantly monitor and curate your profile photo. But an occasional update keeps things fresh. Plus, everyone in your network will be informed of the update.

    3. Include a Reference to Your Career

    For example, if you wear a uniform for your job, then you might want to wear that. If you work in an exciting industry, maybe your photo could be from an industry event. Or perhaps you work in a factory, so you could show yourself on the factory floor.

    Not everyone has a job that will facilitate this. And it’s certainly not a requirement. But it could be an easy way to connect you with what you do and to express that you enjoy your career.

    4. Keep It Simple

    As far as composition goes, at least.

    Forget about using Instagram tactics in an attempt to get thousands of followers. You don’t need funky camera angles or filters that give a bizarre effect.

    This is your professional profile photo.

    To avoid looking careless and unprofessional, it should be well-lit and straightforward. Save the Eiffel Tower in the background for Facebook.

    5. Hire A Professional

    You might not need to do this, but it’s a great option if you do!

    If you can’t seem to get the right shot or you’re just not that photogenic, then find someone in your area who knows exactly how to capture the most professional you.

    That Being Said, Here’s What Not to Do

    Similar to the above list of things you should do, the following list of what you shouldn’t do might seem obvious. But once again, you might be surprised at just how often the following suggestions are ignored:

    1. Do Not Use A Party Photo

    It’s no secret that many of us lose our business persona in the evenings and/or on weekends. Recruiters and hiring managers assume as much. But you certainly don’t need to plaster proof of it all over LinkedIn.

    That photo of you at the bar holding up a stein of beer isn’t gonna cut it on LinkedIn. And neither will any other photo where you might be wearing the following attire:

    • Headwear (unless relevant)
    • Tank Top
    • Eveningwear
    • Bathing Suit
    • Miniskirt
    • Ratty T-shirt

    Once again, the rule of thumb is don’t wear anything that you wouldn’t normally wear to work.

    2. Do Not Use Your Dating Profile Pic

    If you have one, that is.

    Your dating profile picture may have landed you the ideal mate, but it isn’t going to interest a recruiter or someone looking to hire you.

    Remember, the look you’re going for is assertive, confident and reliable – not dreamy, windswept and romantic. Save it for eHarmony.

    3. Do Not Include Family, Friends or Pets

    You love your kids/besties/ferrets. That’s why you have pictures of them on your desk, your screensaver, your Facebook profile pictures and your phone.

    But here’s the cold hard truth.

    Unless your family, friends and/or pets have some serious connection with your brand, leave them out of your LinkedIn profile photo. They are simply not relevant.

    It’s important to remember that your personal life and your professional life are two different things. You want to emphasize your professional life on LinkedIn to promote your brand.

    4. Do Not Use a Photo with Someone Cropped out

    In spite of how advanced photo editing software has become, it’s often easy to see when someone has been cropped out of a photo.

    As tempting as it might be to use that amazing picture of you with your coworker and just cut her out of it, don’t. There are too many assumptions that can be drawn from the exclusion. And none will work for your brand.

    5. Do Not Ignore LinkedIn’s Technical Specs

    LinkedIn has specific technical requirements for your photo so you can’t upload any old photo. If it’s too big, they’ll reject it. If it’s too small, the resolution will leave you looking blurry.

    It’s important to abide by these instructions:

    • When you upload your headshot, it should be a square.
    • Be careful not to crop too tight and cut off edges.
    • Choose the best file format – JPEG for portraits, PNG for logos and graphics.
    • Be sure your profile photo is at least 400 x 400 pixels, but no bigger than 20,000 pixels wide or tall.
    • File size cannot exceed 10 megabytes.

    Do all of those, and you’ll keep the LinkedIn tech folks happy.

    Get the Best Results from Your LinkedIn Profile Photo

    There are going to be a lot of other candidates vying for the job you’re seeking. You want to communicate to employers that you’re taking your job search seriously.

    Remember, if the above do’s and don’t’s feel like too much, it may be well worth the investment to hire a professional photographer.

    If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, contact us today. And you could soon have a truly professional LinkedIn profile photo!