• facebook profile picture

    How Your Facebook Profile Picture Affects Your Job Search

    Your social media profiles are not to be treated with a light heart when you are looking for a job. Your Facebook profile picture is one of the elements that compose your social media presence, so why would someone ignore it?

    Think of social media like this. A parallel universe that exists in another dimension but we can also affect it by making the right decisions and taking action in our universe.

    We are going to take a look at the ways your Facebook profile picture and your social media, in general, affect your job search. Keep reading to learn what mistakes you should avoid.

    First, Let’s Address the Elephant in the Room

    In case you were wondering, yes. Employers do use Facebook to screen applicants when a position is open. Even if that seems obvious, here’s a state for you: last year, a study conducted by Ghent University threw some light on the matter.

    Researchers asked a committee of 200 people to rate portraits for their levels of attractiveness and personality traits. For the record, a photo of a smiling man against a blue sky background was voted the most attractive one.

    After that, the academics sent fake applications to actual employers who were hiring at the moment. They had already created Facebook profiles for the phony applicants and they only made the profile picture publicly visible.

    The findings were outstanding.

    “The candidate with the most favorable Facebook profile picture received approximately 21% more positive responses to his application in comparison to the candidate with the least favorable profile picture. The difference in the chance to be immediately invited to a job interview even amounted to almost 40%,” Professor Stijn Baert, author of the study, said.

    So, we were right all along. A wrong Facebook profile picture can send the wrong message.

    But What Can You Do?

    You can’t change the way you look. Of course, we are talking about a Facebook profile which you can edit in Photoshop and everything. But, at the end of the day, you just can’t look like a stranger.

    After all, taking a great Facebook profile picture does not just mean that you need to look attractive or hot. There is a whole science behind it.

    Not surprisingly, there is another study which focuses just on Instagram filters. Researchers from Canva found out what makes the perfect Insta-shot depending on which filters Instagrammers use the most and which ones draw the most likes.

    In the US, the most popular filters were (in order of preference):

    1. Clarendon
    2. Gingham
    3. Juno
    4. Lark
    5. Mayfair

    In a global aspect, the first place did not change. The others did. Here are the world’s top five best Instagram filters according to Canvas:

    1. Clarendon
    2. Juno
    3. Sierra
    4. Valencia
    5. X-Pro II

    Regarding selfies, which we should focus on, the most popular filter was not a filter at all. It was “Normal.” This alone creates a great first tip for a Facebook profile picture that will get you hired as soon as possible:

    Tip #1: Be Natural

    You don’t want your potential employer to see a photo of you and see a bunch of filter layers before they can even look at your face. Avoid the temptation to use too many filters. They will make the photo look amateur, and the employer will not be able to look at the real you.

    Don’t over-Photoshop yourself when you are getting rid of a zit or a mark on your face. You need to show to the HR managers who the person who sent that application is.

    Don’t forget that they will have the chance to see you in person if you get an interview.

    Tip #2: Have a Neat, Clean-Cut Appearance

    Being natural doesn’t come with looking messy. You need to take care of your appearance and make sure that you look like a million bucks.

    Have a haircut, fix your hair, put your professional-looking clothes on, and don’t be afraid to wear some make-up. Even if you are a guy, a little bit of powder never hurt anybody.

    Again, you don’t have to over do it. There is a fine line between looking neat and looking “too much.” Don’t wear a suit but don’t wear a t-shirt with a marijuana stamp either. Do wear makeup but don’t try to make a statement.

    Of course, all of the tips above depend on the job position and the role you are applying for. What you need to keep in mind is that, first and foremost, you need to look professional.

    Tip #3: Take Care of Your Lighting

    Lighting can either upgrade or totally ruin a portrait photo. When you are updating your Facebook profile picture, make sure you take care of the lighting and use it to your advantage.

    Examine your face, see which side is your good one, and throw more light at it. Avoid shadows on your skin and, when a professional lighting set is not an option, go outside and use the sun as your main source.

    This guy eliminates excess wrinkles, skin pores, and spots in an instant.

    Tip #4: A Facebook Profile Picture Can Give Positive Vibes

    Yes, a picture can give positive vibes and make the person looking at it smile or even want to hire you.

    Avoid black and white photos (unless they are taken by a professional) and dark backgrounds. Smile like you mean it and be as much charming as possible.

    Again, good lighting is essential to make a photo look “positive.” Sharp, dark edges and shadows will only make you look aggressive. Light up your face and the area under and above your eyes to look friendlier and happier.

    Tip #5: Hire a Professional

    We know what you are thinking. This is just a Facebook profile picture and nobody should put so much effort into it. We agree but, when this profile picture can land you a job, hiring a professional is something to consider.

    Like it or not, a professional photographer can make you look like you are the right fit for any position in many different ways:

    • They will advise you on how to pose.
    • They know how to make you look more attractive just by shooting at the right angle.
    • They will edit your pictures for you.
    • They have all the professional equipment needed.
    • They will advise you on your styling, wardrobe, and makeup.

    How do we know? Well, this is what we do! So, make sure you take a look at our packages and choose the one that best matches your needs. We’ll make sure you get that offer!

  • professional linkedin photo

    Why Is a Professional LinkedIn Photo so Important?

    These days, more and more employees are looking at your LinkedIn profile to get a feel for how you represent yourself online.

    Of course, they’ll use LinkedIn to learn more about your work experience and employment history, your special skills, and your educational background.

    However, in a rush to complete their profiles, many people forget the most important thing of all: uploading a professional LinkedIn photo.

    While many take the time to carefully scrub their more casual social media profiles of any incriminating photos or posts, it’s just as important that your LinkedIn photo represents who you are as an employee.

    Why?

    Read on to find out — and to get tips on the type of photo you should use.

    Why Having a LinkedIn Photo Matters

    You know the old saying: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. In today’s world, the majority of “first impressions” take place online.

    Potential employers and headhunters don’t have time to call in every applicant for an interview. So, they’ll start to do a little research online to help them find the most qualified ones.

    Having a professional LinkedIn photo establishes your credibility immediately. It communicates to employers that you’re available, enthusiastic, and even that you keep your current profiles up-to-date.

    It also gives you a chance to highlight certain aspects of your personality. How you stand, your body language, and even the expression on your face all help to send subliminal messages to employers about the type of person you are. In short, having a professional LinkedIn photo helps to control, or at least to influence, employers’ perceptions of you.

    Additionally, including a photograph on your LinkedIn profile helps you to build your personal brand, and may even help jog the memory of an employer that has met you before.

    Let’s say you connected with a headhunter at a major startup at a conference last year. They may have lost your business card, or you may never have been introduced at all. But when they see that picture, they’ll remember what you spoke about.

    Employers are much more likely to reach out to someone they feel they already have some sort of a connection with. Remember, the job search is no picnic for them, either.

    LinkedIn Profile Photo Tips

    Now that you understand a bit more about why having a professional LinkedIn photo is so important, let’s move on to discussing how you can make your photo stand out.

    Avoid Selfies

    This one doesn’t require much explanation.

    It’s unprofessional. It says that you’re not serious about your job search. It looks like you’re trying to turn your LinkedIn profile into your online dating profile.

    Don’t do it.

    Go for a Headshot

    Your LinkedIn profile photo shouldn’t be a full-body shot. Again, this isn’t your online dating profile.

    But more importantly, your LinkedIn avatar will be small. By focusing on just your face, you’ll ensure that employers are able to get a clear picture of your features, which will help to build recognition.

    Always be ready for your close-up — avoid shots taken from far away. To accent certain features and to help your face stand out, don’t underestimate the importance of lighting. Again, this is why it’s so important to have professional photos taken.

    The light from your cell phone case doesn’t count.

    Know What to Wear

    We live in an age where people are all about finding new ways to unconventionally market themselves.

    But while you might get creative on your resume, in the content of your website, and even during the interview itself, your LinkedIn profile picture isn’t the place to do it.

    What you wear in your picture can certainly help you to attract attention — but usually, it’s the wrong kind. Leave the novelty ties, props, and silly expressions at home.

    While getting overly creative might be good for a laugh, it will do little to further your job search. It’s best to go for standard business attire in your photo. It’s a good idea to wear a suit jacket and a collared shirt (for both men and women.)

    If you’re going to wear a tie, always go for a solid color. Patterns can make someone’s eye jump all over the place. Ladies, make sure you don’t wear any distracting or overpowering jewelry in your photos.

    When in doubt, leave it out. Simplicity is key when it comes to LinkedIn profile photo fashion.

    Keep It Consistent

    Finally, no matter which photo you end up going with, it’s important that you create consistency across social media networks during your job search.

    This means it’s a good idea to make your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even author photos for any articles you write, all the same.

    The last thing you want to do is muddle your personal branding during your job search.

    Have an Expert Take Your Professional LinkedIn Photo

    Our final piece of advice is likely our most important one.

    While your friends may be able to help you to tweak your resume, find the perfect tie, or practice for that dream interview, don’t rely on them to take your professional LinkedIn photo.

    Keep in mind that nearly 120 candidates apply for a single position. To make yourself stand out, and to communicate to employers that you’re taking your job search seriously, you need to hire a professional photographer.

    That’s where we come in.

    Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you to take the professional LinkedIn photo that will land you the job. Or, follow our three easy steps to book your photography appointment now.

    While you’re at it, why not upgrade your other online photos? Who knows what kinds of opportunities your social media profiles may lead to? Make sure you’re taking advantage of all of them with the right profile photo.

  • dating profile tips

    5 Must-Have Dating Profile Tips (According to Science!)

    Are you getting enough attention from your online dating profile? Are you getting the right kind of attention?

    Too often people post a profile online, then get disappointed that they are still not meeting the kinds of people they want to.

    However, there are proven ways to improve your search. Scientific research shows that some techniques are actually more successful than others.

    If you are not satisfied with the results of your online search for love, here are five dating profile tips. They will help get you in front of the kind of people you’re looking for.

    1. Get A Great Profile Photo

    One of the most important dating profile tips you should follow?

    Get yourself a flattering profile photograph.

    Obviously, the photo should show your true self. Don’t choose a photo from five years ago, even if you were ten pounds lighter then. If you end up meeting someone through an outdated profile pic, they will see right away in person that you are not who you said you were.

    Not a great way to start a relationship!

    Use a picture of you and you alone. So many people post photos of themselves with friends, children or pets. This is a mistake, research shows.

    Time magazine cites studies showing that 42% fewer people received positive responses to profile pictures which contained groups of friends over solo shots.

    The study also found that posing with your cat or dog resulted in 53% fewer messages from potential dates.

    Choose a photo that you think makes you look your best.  Smile, and know that people get better response results with closed-mouth smiles than wide-toothed smiles.

    Don’t cover your face with sunglasses or a wide brimmed hat.

    Keep the focus on you, not your boat, your friends, or your pet.

    2. Tell a Revealing Story

    “I like long walks on the beach.”

    Boring, right?

    Your profile should not be generic. You need to show potential mates that you are special. You need to stand out! 

    Instead of lists of things you like to do, think about an anecdote which illustrates your personality.

    Tell about that time when you rescued your brother from going overboard on a raft trip in Utah. It shows you like to travel, enjoy adventurous sports, and care about family.

    Focus on who you want to attract, instead of making it all about you. This is a good rule to follow once you are in a relationship, too.

    To quote science again, another study found that 70:30 is the ideal ratio of writing about what you are looking for in a date in relation to details about you.

    People who wrote only about themselves did not attract as many responses. After all, who really wants to date someone who only talks about themselves?

    Asking questions in your profile is another technique that has been shown to work well. For example, you could say something like: “I would like to visit India one day. Where do you dream of going?”

    3. Basic Dating Profile Tips on Grammar and Tone

    It’s hard to display your personal style while following strict guidelines.

    However, according to scientific research, you really need to pay attention to some basic online dating protocols.

    For example, use spell check.

    You will get 13% fewer responses if you have typos in your profile. You may think spelling errors or commonly-used abbreviations like “cuz”  or “u” are cute and reflect your personality. However, they won’t translate into more interest.

    You will get a more positive response if your profile shows you have put a little effort into it by proofreading it.

    Similarly, stay away from the real depressing details of your life. Once you get to know someone, of course you will want to reveal information about things like your divorce. But the online profile is not the time or the place.

    4. Be as Honest As Possible

    As dating profile tips go, this one particularly is easier said than done.

    Scientific America reported that 90% of online daters are less than fully honest with their online profiles.

    Most lies are harmless. They are often simply a case of wishful thinking.

    For example, men overestimate their heights by a few inches. Women tend to underestimate their weight.

    Women are more likely to state their ages are lower than the truth. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to overstate their income.

    Where should you draw the line?

    Imagine how you would feel if you arranged an online date with someone, and then found out that important details in their online profile were wrong. He is not a doctor, but is actually unemployed. She doesn’t live on the beach, but on a farm with her mother.

    If your true intention is to meet someone with whom you might start a relationship, be as honest as you can in your online profile.

    Your potential date will forgive you if you fudge a few pounds in your description. He or she might not be so easy-going about bigger details like children and employment status.

    5. Don’t Be Too Sexual

    Dating profile tips uniformly advise staying away from overly sexual language or innuendo.

    Unless you are on a site which is specifically focused on hooking up only, including overly suggestive come-ons in your online profile is not a very effective way to get attention.

    In fact, surveys across online dating sites find that this is the number one mistake people make in creating online profiles. 23% of people surveyed by one dating site said they found this kind of language in a profile to be a big turn-off.

    Keep it clean! The sexy stuff can come later.

    Create the best online profile

    If you follow these basic online dating profile tips, you will have no trouble meeting possible love matches.

    Take a little time and effort for the ultimate pay off.

    Write a description that stays off the pity pot and out of the gutter. Focus not just on you but what you are looking for. Invest in a flattering photograph that shows who you really are.

    You will be glad you made the effort. There is someone out there who will be glad, too.

  • personals photos

    Personals Photos: Can Hackers Access Your Selfies?

    How safe are your photos, really?

    If you’re like most people, your phone is loaded with selfies.

    Make sure they don’t end up in the wrong hands.

    According to Business Insider, hackers can copy fingerprints from photos and use them to steal your identity. Peace-sign selfies and high-resolution pictures are the most vulnerable.

    No matter how safe your phone is, you can still have your data stolen. Each month, about 25% of all smartphones and tablets encounter a threat.

    The risk is even higher among those who post personals photos on dating sites or social media. Hackers can easily crack your passwords using the information on your Facebook page. Let’s see how they do it.

    Just How Easy Is Smartphone Hacking?

    You’ve probably heard about all those stolen celebrity photos. Sienna Miller, Emma Watson, and Rihanna are just a few examples.

    Believe it or not, everything can be hacked. Just because you have the latest iPhone doesn’t mean you’re safe. A hacker doesn’t need technical skills to steal your data.

    Bluejacking, phishing, and malware apps are among the most common attacks. As long as you’re using the Internet on your phone, you’re at risk.

    Hackers can crack cell phone encryption and take over your phone. They only need a few minutes to steal your credit card data, personals photos, and selfies.

    Here are the most common strategies they use:

    iPhone and iPad Hijacking

    If you have an iOS device, your photos are automatically stored in Apple’s iCloud. Just like everything else, this app has its weak points. In 2014, over 100 celebrities had their accounts compromised.

    Cloud storage makes it easier to upload and store images. Even if you lose your phone, you’ll still have your pictures in the cloud. The downside is that anyone who knows your password and username can access them.

    The easiest way to protect your phone is to choose strong passwords. Also, make sure you turn off automatic iCloud sharing and Google Plus Auto-Backup.

    Bluesnarfing

    Hackers may use bluesnarfing to access your text messages, emails, and photos. This attack is most likely to occur when your device is in discoverable mode.

    To prevent it, keep your phone in “invisible” mode and turn off Bluetooth. Never store your passwords or credit card data on the phone.

    Ransomware

    Do you have Apple’s Find My Mac security app installed on your smartphone? If so, it’s better to remove it.

    Hackers can access this feature and take control over your phone. Basically, they encrypt your files and ask you for money to unlock them. In the worst case scenario, they will steal all the data on your Mac.

    This type of attack is known as ransomware. It allows criminals to see where your devices are physically located and set a PIN to lock them.

    Once they have access to your phone, stealing your photos is a piece of cake.

    To protect your device, enable Apple’s two-factor authentication. Set up a unique password for iCloud and another for your smartphone.

    Do not use the same password on your phone and computer.

    Malware

    Smartphone apps add functionality to your device. Unfortunately, they also increase the risk of hacking. The more apps you’re using, the higher the chances of a data breach.

    Hackers can gain control over your phone through malicious apps. Once this happens, they can delete your social profiles or share your pics. Your credit card information is at risk, too.

    To keep them away, limit the number of apps on your device. Avoid those that request permission to access your email or Facebook account.

    Remember to update your apps regularly. Older applications are more vulnerable to security breaches.

    There are many other tricks hackers can use to access your data. Some of the most common smartphone security threats are inspired by computer hacking. For example, clicking on spammy links in the emails received on your phone may lead to identity theft.

    Why Would Someone Steal Your Photos?

    You might wonder why someone would want to steal your pictures. After all, you’re not a celebrity or political figure.

    Hackers can use your personals photos and selfies to blackmail you. They may also set up fake dating profiles or share your pictures on adult sites.

    Let’s say you’re taking before and after photos to track your fitness progress. Or perhaps you’re fooling around in your new bikini. It’s fun and harmless.

    One day, you discover a fake Facebook profile featuring your photos. Even worse, you find out that someone is offering escort services using your pictures. What if your boss or your friends stumble over those pics?

    Your reputation will be ruined. If you have a business and your clients see those photos, you risk losing your credibility.

    Luckily, you can protect your data and selfies by following some simple rules. Most times, a strong password can make all the difference.

    How to Protect Personals Photos from Hackers

    Mobile security is a major problem with serious consequences. Hackers don’t even need a reason to steal your photos or private data. For them, you’re just a random victim.

    The best way to prevent cyber attacks is to choose a secure, hack-proof password. Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. Passphrases are even safer.

    For increased protection, use a password manager. This service generates strong passwords and stores them in one place. Opt for RoboForm, Dashlane, or other trusted apps.

    Never share your passwords with anyone, especially by email. When you’re using public computers, uncheck the “Remember Me” option.

    Also, be careful what you share on dating sites and social networks. Your contacts don’t need to know when you’re on a holiday, or what banking service you’re using.

    Wrapping Things Up

    To stay safe, don’t reveal your date of birth on social media.

    Enter a different day or month when filling out your dating profile. The less people know about you, the better.

    Another thing you can do to safeguard your phone is to use anonymity networks on public WiFi. Tor, ZeroNet, and anoNet are a good choice. This will make it harder for hackers to access your passwords and other data.

    What strategies do you use to protect your selfies and personals photos? Share your tips below!

  • profile pictures

    Profile Pictures That Will Land the Woman of Your Dreams

    We’ve all been there. We want to make that great first impression, to “wow” every lady who comes across our profile.

    But we tend to overthink it. We obsess about it. We painstakingly try to guess what she sees when she looks at our profile picture for the first time.

    Whether you’re looking for that perfect profile picture to snag a date with your soulmate, to catch the attention of your high school crush, or to present yourself as competent and successful, first impressions matter.

    And the foundation of a first impression on social media lies in profile pictures.  Let’s look at what studies say about finding that perfect pic.

    What A First Impression Means

    You’ll find ample research out there with results that show just how long we have to make a first impression.

    According to a series of experiments conducted at Princeton University, it takes less than half a second for someone to form a fairly permanent impression of you.

    In the studies, they showed participants a picture of a person for various lengths of time, up to a second. Participants reported their impressions, along with their level of confidence in their ability to accurately assess someone from such a short time viewing a photograph.

    If we translate this through the lens of social media, this means that the profile picture you choose may mean the difference between an “I’m interested in you” message in your inbox and a scroll on down the page.

    What Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Profile Picture

    There are many facial expressions, backgrounds, and body positions to take into account when picking your pic. A few of the common aspects to consider are:

    • Smiling or not smiling, with teeth or without teeth
    • Looking at or away from the camera
    • With a favorite pet or alone
    • With friends or solo
    • A wooded background, beach background, building landscape, etc
    • Stationary or in motion
    • Black and white, color, sepia, faded, etc.
    • Lounging or looking serious

    Which you choose depends on the image you would like to convey, but there are some clear winners and losers, as we’ll see in the next section.

    What Studies Show

    According to an in-depth study analyzing which profile pictures get the most “likes,” the results were clear when it comes to men’s profiles:

    • Smiling without teeth, you’re 43% more likely to get a “like”
    • Looking into the camera versus away, you’re over 100% more likely to get a “like”
    • Standing solo, you’re 11% more likely to get a “like”

    Based on results from this same study on men’s photos:

    • 80% less likely to receive a “like” if you choose a beach photo
    • 45% more likely to receive a “like” if you use a sports pic
    • 15% more likely to receive a “like” with candid photos

    Black and white photos are extremely attractive based on the 106% higher likelihood of getting a “like.”

    Posture is also important. You don’t want to look like a soldier. But you also don’t want to have lousy posture, since this can give the impression of low confidence.

    Research shows that in between these two is best.

    Choosing a Profile Picture That Starts a Conversion

    Starting a conversation is your goal, right?

    Time and again, studies show that women want to start that conversation with a guy who is open about his hobbies, interests, pets, sense of humor and his zest for life. Ladies are looking for someone who’ll bring some pizzazz into their lives.

    Promote something about yourself that you want to attract in the other person.

    Women enjoy conversation-starters on a first date. If your profile pictures have you posing with a tennis racket, and she loves tennis, this can be a definite in. She may feel more connected to you and feel drawn to share her own tennis stories.

    Some conversion-starting profile pictures to consider are:

    • A night out on the town
    • Laughing with friends
    • Big family pictures
    • You playing in the floor with your young niece or nephew
    • You with sports equipment
    • You enjoying an event

    Perhaps you’ve heard of the Internet meme, “I’m suspicious of people who don’t like dogs, but I totally trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person.”

    This is why a pic of you with your loyal mutt or cuddly cat can pique interest. Women see you as loyal and cuddly, too.

    What to Avoid When Choosing Your Profile Picture

    When a woman sees all, or even most, of a man’s profile pictures are selfies, she may assume one of two things. Either he is totally full of himself or he has absolutely no friends. Neither will help you score that first date to prove otherwise.

    If a lady believes that you have no friends, she may take the short leap to assuming you have trouble with relationships. So pack your pictures full of fun, engaging times you have with those you care about the most.

    Some pictures that have been proven unsuccessful in the online dating scene are:

    • Two-person snapshots with any person that could be perceived as being a potential partner, even if it’s your sister! (the ladies don’t know that)
    • Photos that conceal any part of your face, especially your eyes
    • Stained clothing
    • Beer photos
    • Attempts to be seductive (often come off as creepy)
    • Wearing sunglasses can give the impression that you have something to hide
    • Bathroom selfies, or any selfies for that matter!

    The OKCupid study “Your Looks and Your Inbox” suggests that ladies are more apt to message a man with an everyday look versus a “stud.” So, it may be in your best interest to post a profile picture that appears most similar to the average guy even if you have all the assets.

    Where to Go for Perfect Profile Pictures

    Finding the photos to send the right message isn’t easy. These kinds of pics don’t always happen naturally. Capturing what you’re all about in an image is crucial if you want to find that woman of your dreams.

    A professional photographer can help you send the right message.

    We’ll help you pick out your best attire, the best background, and the best pose to get you on that lovely lady’s radar.

    With four different photo packages to choose from, you’ll be able to pick out the perfect photo options for you.

    Let us help you land the woman of your dreams. Book now in 3 easy steps today!

  • find love

    These Romantic Dating Ideas Will Help You Find Love in a New City

    Moving to a new city can be a little daunting, especially if you don’t know anyone.

    One of the biggest things you might miss is physical contact with another person.

    Starting a new life in a new city can be a little stressful, and you may long to enjoy a big hug from someone special.

    To help you feel right at home, we’re offering some handy dating ideas to help you find love in a new city.

    Introduce Yourself

    The best way to build a connection with a possible friend or partner is by introducing yourself.

    Try to meet people in close proximity to you. Knock on your neighbors’ doors with some edible treats and say hello. They’re bound to appreciate the kind gesture and it could help you to form new relationships.

    Home-baked cakes and cookies will ensure you get off to a great start. Not only will they appreciate the gesture, but they will love the effort that has gone into making the treat.

    Don’t forget to mention that you’re new to the city. They might invite you in or out for dinner or a coffee.

    Go Out Alone

    You can’t wait for a relationship to come to you when you move to a new city.

    Take your life into your own hands and start making things happen for yourself.

    Don’t be scared to sit at a bar alone to grab a drink. Go to Starbucks and enjoy a coffee. Go for a walk in the park. Attend events and start talking to people.

    It will fill up your time and it could result in you building friendships or meeting that special someone.

    Go the Gym

    The gym can be quite a social meeting place.

    Not only will it allow you create a beautiful body, but it could help you meet new people.

    The more familiar your face becomes at the gym, the more likely regular gym-goers will talk to you.

    It could result in you meeting your dream partner, who will make you feel less alone in a new city.

    Online Dating

    There will be many people hoping to find love in the city.

    Online dating could be the ideal solution for those hoping to find a perfect partner.

    Don’t spend your days watching endless hours of Netflix. Get to know your city whilst getting to know another person.

    Online dating can connect you with thousands of like-minded people near you. So, don’t be afraid to set-up a profile and see who you can meet. You never know, you might find love.

    If you don’t, you might still make a great friend.

    Not sure how to start a conversation? Read these helpful online conversation starters.

    Embrace the Local Culture

    A new city equals a new culture.

    Rather than sticking with what you know, you should embrace the new culture to feel as though you fit in.

    Start interacting with the locals and join in local events, festivals or sports games. It will make you feel at home, but it could also help you meet different people from all walks of life.

    Your soulmate could be a city dweller that you wouldn’t have met if you stayed cooped up inside.

    Use Your Hobbies to Find Love

    If you have a hobby or passion, use it to your advantage to meet new people.

    For example, if you love running in the evenings or on weekends, why not join a running club? This way, you can build on your passion whilst meeting new people.

    You’ll feel comfortable with the activity, so it can make it easier to talk to likeminded people.

    The passion could soon turn into a bond, and before you know it, you could be enjoying dinner with a potential mate.

    Over time, this could help you to find love – and that new city might make you feel as though you’re right at home.

    Volunteer

    Do you dream of meeting a caring, selfless and kind partner?

    Well, these are often all the traits you will find in a volunteer.

    If you want to meet someone with a big heart, you can always volunteer in your free time.

    You’ll have a chance to meet passionate, hard working people – which are great qualities in a boyfriend or girlfriend.

    Try to pick a cause you care about, such as:

    • Animal rescue
    • Political campaigns
    • Children’s charities
    • Health charities

    You’ll be helping your community and individuals, and you’ll have a chance to meet new people. It’s a win-win!

    Ask Colleagues for After-Work Drinks

    Did you know that people who meet at work are more likely to get married?

    So, if you’re hoping to find love that will last forever in a new city, the ideal mate might be at your place of work.

    11% of people surveyed on office romances said a relationship began at a work happy hour. While another 10% stated it happened after working late.

    So, if you want to find love, make sure you go out for drinks with colleagues – and don’t be afraid of overtime.

    You never know where some late night drinks or an extra few hours of work might lead.

    Conclusion

    Love can often be found in the most unusual places.

    The more open you are to different opportunities, the more likely you are to find love. Push yourself out of your comfort zone every once in a while.

    Go out for drinks alone. Join clubs that can help you develop your passion and meet new people.

    Introduce yourself to those scary neighbors, who really aren’t scary at all.

    Sign up for online dating and meet people who are looking for love as much as you.

    You could end up meeting your soulmate, or you could make some great friends. Either way, you will be mixing with others. Not spending your time alone, wondering why you chose to relocate in the first place.

    Do you want to give yourself the best chance of meeting your dream partner online? Embark with a professional photo shoot that will help you stand out.

  • best profile photos

    The Power of Pictures: 3 First Impressions That Your Best Profile Photos Make

    Cornell University recently published what we’ve all been thinking. People judge others based on their online profile picture. Surprised?

    You shouldn’t be!

    When it comes to profile pictures, this adage rings true. “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

    In sales, we know there are only 7 seconds on the phone before someone decides if they love or hate you. You may have even less time when it comes to a profile picture.

    In an age where social overlaps with business online, what do your best profile photos say about you?

    Here are 3 first impressions that your best profile photos make.

    1. To Selfie or Not to Selfie? That is the Question!

    When it comes to selecting the best profile photos many people are stuck between a selfie and a hard place.

    Most business people will say selecting less than a professional headshot is bad. And while you don’t want to look too casual, let’s talk about times when selfies are ok.

    The key to selecting the best profile photos is choosing ones that are high quality has good lighting and looks natural.

    Selfie deniers will say the photos are poor quality, have weird angles and often bad lighting.

    If you are guilty of taking selfies like this, do not use them. Seek the help of a professional.

    But if you can take selfies with great lighting and angles they can look natural.

    Let’s say your professional photo is a floating head on a neutral background. That doesn’t tell the story of who you are.

    If you are over-dressed you could come off as stuffy or elite. These qualities are generally not likable.

    Sometimes photography comes down to money. If this is an issue, a smartphone tripod and selfie light ring go for around $10 each on Amazon.

    There is no replacement for high-quality, natural-looking professional images. But a good selfie doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

    Your best profile photos are of you in your natural habitat. They tell a story about you.

    2. Managing Your Personal Brand with Your Best Profile Photos

    Your profile photo gives off messages that are both open and hidden.

    An open message includes elements that are deliberate.

    If your profile picture depicts your spouse and kids, that’s a message of family values. If it was taken on your most recent sky-diving adventure, that says you seek an adrenaline rush.

    Hidden messages are much more subtle. 

    Eye contact reads as confidence. Taken from a distance, it signals insecurity. A head tilt can read as lacking independence.

    Like most things, your best profile photos are subjective. 

    They will bring up different responses in people so it’s important to be true to your personal brand. You can’t please everyone.

    It’s best to choose a photo you love and dig your heels in. Be consistent. Find a picture that works and stick with it.

    3. Are You a Real Character?

    When you’ve selected the right photo, don’t be afraid to get creative.
    With the help of a thumbnail maker or filter app, you can make your best profile photos stand out in a crowd.

    Something simple like a sketch filter can change a drab photo into a fab one.
    Thumbnail creators allow you to put your face on many different backgrounds. You can try bright colors to elicit a better response.

    Photofunia is a website that imposes your picture on many backgrounds. These range from the pages of a book to a billboard. Even the Picadilly Arcade!

    If your personal brand is playful, show it off! What we know is people want to see who you are.

    You can take it to a new level by generating a toon as an avatar.

    Online avatar makers include Power Puff Girls, Mad Men, and Bitstrips. If it makes sense to do so, play around with these popular avatar generators.

    If you are more serious and cartoons are not for you, a Twibbon may help you express your inner advocate. Twibbon avatars include ribbon banners for things like Livestrong and Autism Awareness.

    Your Worst Profile Photo: Never Do This One Thing

    Always use a picture of yourself, real or avatar. It resonates with people.

    If you haven’t already, you will come across someone who ignores this important rule. 

    You know the type!  They use a picture of a pet or fictional character. Anything other than the actual human on the other side of the screen.

    This is a big “no” in the world of social media. Psychologists say it shows neurosis. It can also seem like you’re hiding something.

    You know who uses pictures that aren’t their own? Trolls and catfish.

    If you want to build trust and rapport with your audience, use your best profile photos. Avoid photos of things that aren’t of you.

    Have Fun with the Process

    Some people contend there are no more first impressions. 

    The first thing someone does when they schedule a meeting is Google the person they are meeting with. Even before a first encounter.

    Yet, you’re unlikely to find people willing to admit they will judge someone based on a profile photo. But let’s face it, we all do. And the impression is unshakeable.

    Expect that you’re being judged and don’t lose out.

    Always make sure to select your best profile photos. Choose pictures that speak to your personal brand and are appropriate for all social platforms. Be consistent.

    If it seems like a lot of work, relax. Enjoy the process. Because this isn’t about the photo on your profile page.  Is it?

    It’s about you.

    What feelings do you want people to have when they see you? Do you want them to feel happy? relatable? intimidated? confused?

    Do you want them to see a professional? An artist? An advocate? A potential love interest?

    You have the power to control that image. It starts with the thumbnail image on top of your profile page. It ends with a new business connection or friend.

    The possibilities are endless. But you won’t know unless you try, so get to snapping!

  • looking for a job

    Learn How to Compose a Unique Cover Letter While Looking for a Job

    Let’s face it: no matter the size of the city where you live, the job market can be a nightmare.

    Smaller cities have fewer employers and that means fewer job openings. And bigger cities have higher populations, meaning there are loads of people looking at the same job openings as you. Big city or small, you’re already up against plenty of competition when looking for a job.

    But let’s say you make it through the slush pile and a job recruiter actually picks up your resume: did you know that he or she is likely to spend only 6 seconds looking at your resume before determining whether to read on or toss your CV in the trash?

    The lesson here is this: you need to stand out in a competitive job market. If you’re looking for a job and you’re frustrated at the lack of interest, you need to look a step further than your resume/CV: take a good look at your cover letter.

    What is a Cover Letter?

    A cover letter is a personalized, well-thought introduction to your qualities, background, and personality. It’s more personalized than a resume. A cover letter is almost like an elevator speech: somewhat more conversational, but still meant to be short and to-the-point. It answers the questions a resume can’t, like: Why do you want to work here? Are you a culture fit? Why should we hire you, and not him or her?

    A cover letter typically includes a high-level summary of your background, highlighting key skills and experience that relate directly to the job for which you’re applying. This is different than your resume, which includes detailed job background – where, when, and what.

    A cover letter should also accurately reflect what’s posted on job-related social media such as LinkedIn. Ensure there are no inconsistencies – this is a red flag to a future employer when you’re looking for a job.

    The Key When Looking for a Job? Passion

    Most companies would rather hire an enthusiastic, passionate junior employee than a bored, “I-could-do-this-job-blindfolded” senior employee. Energy is everything.

    When you’re looking for a job, it’s imperative that your enthusiasm comes through loud and clear in your cover letter. Include the reason you’re most interested in this particular company or position.

    Even better if you can touch on non-professional interests that relate: volunteer positions you’ve held, conferences you’ve attended in your free time, that sort of thing. If you’re applying to be marketing director at an aquarium, share your interests in scuba diving. If you’re applying to be a teacher, share your volunteer work with tutoring kids.

    Read your cover letter aloud to a friend or family member and ask them, “does this sound like I’m excited about the job? About the industry?” If they say no, you’ve got more work to do.

    Remember, you want to come across as likable, and enthusiasm about the opportunity is one of the best ways to do this.

    Highlight Key Successes

    Nothing jumps out at an employer like a statement that says you saved your last company $200k in overhead or 80 hours in reworking inventory layouts. Recruiters love numbers: measurable, definable value.

    Don’t be afraid to brag a little, either. Many candidates are worried they may come off as arrogant, but the opposite is true: when looking for a job, you need to sell yourself early and often in order to compete with the candidate pool.

    Also, try to tie your key successes into what you can add to this particular company. If you’re applying to sell financial services to clients, you may not want to share your record typing speeds (but you do want to share this if you’re applying to be a content writer.) Make sure that your achievements make sense given the role.

    Include Key Words

    Your cover letter may go through a system that searches for keywords. If this is the case, the recruiter may not even see your application unless it meets the keyword requirements.

    But even if this isn’t the case, you still want to ensure that your cover letter has several of the keywords listed in the job description. Recruiters are trained to search for these to ensure that candidates are properly matched to each role.

    Read the job description carefully (which you should have done anyway) and ensure you touch on the key concepts. Just don’t overdo it, and definitely, don’t copy and paste from the job description.

    Be Creative

    Creativity is one of the most important ways to stand out when looking for a job. Different is good – it makes you memorable! For this reason, do not utilize a cover letter template from a word processor. Recruiters have seen thousands of these templates and they can smell ’em from a mile away.

    There are plenty of online resources that provide more creative templates, or you could simply draft up your own. Many firms, particularly start-ups or those in more progressive industries (think tech), will love your unique approach.

    Consider also the inclusion of a professional head shot. Your LinkedIn page should have one, anyway, and this is an opportunity to show that you’re professional and heavy-hitting in the job market.

    Proofread

    Ensure that you don’t use the exact same cover letter for multiple companies: this will damper your enthusiasm and your cover letter will sound artificial.

    But it’s ok to use similar cover letters since some of the information about your experience and skill set will remain the same. In this case, it’s very important that you always check your company names before sending. Particularly if you’ve stated the company name multiple times throughout the document. Proofread multiple times. Nothing is more embarrassing – and nothing will get you booted quicker! – than a mishap like this.

    On average, every job opening has more than 250 applicants. This is a wide net of competitors! When looking for a job, producing a strong cover letter that demonstrates enthusiasm, experience, and professionalism can only help you in securing an interview.

    We can help you with looking good and putting your best face forward, but the rest is up to you. If you’re looking for a job and don’t yet have a cover letter meeting these criteria, put one together and start including with your job applications to set yourself above the rest.

  • dating profile

    5 Tips For Crafting Honest Content That Will Bring Your Dating Profile to Life

    Over 49 million people have tried online dating.

    And 1 out of every 5 people has asked someone to help them create the perfect online dating profile!

    If you feel like your profile doesn’t show who you really are, is too much of a cliche, or just isn’t giving you the matches you want, then you need to read this post. 

    In it, we’re sharing with you the top 5 tips to creating the kind of profile that will attract the partner of your dreams – or just a fun fling!

    1. Use Multiple Photos

    Like it or not, your photos are probably the most important part of your dating profile. 

    But which ones are going to encourage potential matches to actually take the time to read your profile?

    First of all, you need to show at least 3 photos, all showing a different side of you. 

    While it can be tempting to upload a sexy gym selfie, a photo of you from a night when you got really glammed up, or a somewhat revealing beach shot, it’s not the best way to go. 

    Why? 

    Because you want to show people how you look every day. (Besides, there’s nothing more humiliating than the moment when your date doesn’t recognize you because you look a lot different than you did online.)

    Instead, focus on photos that show you doing what you love!

    If you’re a travel bug, why not include a picture of you standing in front of a famous monument? If you’re obsessed with working out, instead of a gym selfie, why not upload a snap of you finishing a race or a hike? 

    Oh, and while we’re on the subject – please no photos of you and another person that is the same gender you’re trying to match. Even if it’s “just a friend” or even a family member. It’s confusing, and it looks shady. 

    2. Make Your Expectations Clear

    When you’re crafting your dating profile, it’s important to be direct about what you’re looking for. 

    This doesn’t mean it’s ok to make comments about the specific body types and income levels you’re interested in. Instead of making a “wish list” of your perfect match, talk about what you think your ideal mate would enjoy doing with you and be interested in. 

    For example, instead of “Looking for a guy over 6 feet tall with at least two cars who owns his own home,” try something like, “If you’re into classic horror movies, have a weird obsession with meme culture, and always want to learn something new, we’d be a great fit.”

    Including this kind of honesty in your dating profile saves everyone time (especially you!) and will help to cut out people that aren’t on the same page as you. Plus, anything that makes “The Talk” less stressful is always a good thing!

    A word about politics… In this day and age, putting your political beliefs on your dating profile, no matter which “side” you’re on, can open you up to lots of trouble. It can also help you to eliminate people that you’d never consider based on their political beliefs. 

    In the end, it’s really up to you if you choose to talk about your political beliefs in your profile. But if you do, keep things brief. This isn’t a soapbox or an op-ed column. 

    3. Spend Time On Your Username

    Your username is one of the first things people will see on your profile. If it’s offensive, obscene, or just a random string of numbers and letters, people aren’t exactly going to be lining up to message you. 

    The good news? 

    You can be as creative and humorous as you want to be. This is the time to break out those puns, to reference your favorite TV show, or to include a hint about your physical appearance. 

    Your username is basically a hook that you’re dropping into the great online dating pool. Is yours intriguing enough to get your dream person to click on your profile? 

    Lyrics from your favorite song, pop culture references, and even jokes about current events are all great ideas!

    4. Use Your Spellcheck

    Please. It’s simple, it’s free, and it only takes a few minutes. 

    Especially if you’re looking for a more long-term relationship, having a profile that’s filled with spelling and grammatical errors isn’t going to make you look your best. 

    It makes you seem like you just don’t care and weren’t willing to put in the extra effort when you created your profile – even if that’s not the case. 

    Also, it can make people question your intelligence level, and even doubt that some of the things you said in your profile were true.

    A guy who claims to have graduated from Harvard but can’t tell the difference between “your” and “you’re?” Yeah, right. 

    5. Ask Your Friends For Advice

    Finally, there’s nothing wrong with crowdsourcing the photos and content you include in your profile!

    Since it seems like pretty much everyone has tried online dating at some point, asking your friends for advice about what to say and what not to say is an awesome idea.

    If they ended up meeting their mate online, then you definitely want their advice!

    But friends also know so much about you, and they’ll help you to present yourself in the best possible light – while keeping you honest about what you really want in a partner. 

    These friends will also help you to figure out what your best qualities are. Sometimes, it can be hard for us to evaluate ourselves and point out what makes us so awesome.

    Rely on your friends to build you up, and to help you to find out what people love the most about you. 

    You’re Ready To Craft An Awesome Online Dating Profile!

    Thanks for these awesome tips, you’re one step closer to landing the partner of your dreams! 

    Your online profile is incredibly important, so make sure you really take your time and put thought into creating it if you want to see quality matches. 

    Need more dating advice? 

    Check out our website and blog to learn what else you can do to make this the year you find your soulmate! We can even give you a complete profile overhaul!

  • brand yourself

    Why It’s Important To Brand Yourself

    There’s no question that companies can build their products and services into brands of sizes that eclipse understanding (hello, Pepsi, Burger King, World Wildlife Fund), but can a person? The good news is, yes! You’re going to have to work hard to brand yourself, but you can do it, and there’s help available!

    Branding Yourself Takes Work

    It’s never been more important to brand yourself when it comes to standing out from the crowd when applying for jobs.

    The publishing world calls the flood of submissions it gets – unasked – from writers who want their books published “the slush pile.” The same can be said for the hundreds or even thousands of applicants who apply for a single job opening.

    It is essential to brand yourself on your job application and resume so you can rise above the slush.

    But wait!

    There’s a lot you can do before it even gets to the job application stage.

    How about making yourself look great so prospective employers can contact you? You could be found on an employment website based on your skill set.

    The biggest of those websites is LinkedIn, and to be an active member, you need a top-notch LinkedIn profile.

    You may be thinking, “This is about work and jobs. It’s not supposed to be all fancy and braggy.” Well, you need to adjust your thinking so you can get that job. Here are some things you should know:

    • As of March 2017, there were 2 billion profiles on LinkedIn. No, not even one percent of them are going to be going after the jobs you are. But a fraction of one percent? That’s a lot of people you beat out to even get that first phone interview.
    • Your profile is a picture. It needs to be much more than buzz words burped out onto a screen in list or bullet format. Paint the readers a beautiful image of who you are so they can picture how well you’ll fit into their workplace.
    • Use an “I” voice and make sure to hype your strengths!

    Brand Yourself with a Great Picture

    We’ve all heard the cliche about the person who was at the front of the line for a job and then the prospective company’s human resources person unearthed pictures of binge drinking, animal cruelty, extreme politicism, and other embarrassing and potentially illegal things on the applicant’s social media.

    You know how that ended up, right?

    Don’t be that person! In fact, when you brand yourself and then continuously polish your brand, you’re on the right path to avoid these costly and impactful mistakes.

    Some tips to help you get the picture:

    • You do, actually, need a picture that shows you facing the camera, with a professional outfit or one that would be (no pun intended) well-suited for your prospective workplace. Think of hair and makeup touchups, where applicable, too.
    • The picture needs to be a headshot with a neutral background, and you should be smiling.
    • Have the image saved in a variety of sizes. Each website may have slightly different regulations on the size and format of photos you can upload, such as a 125-pixel by 125-pixel square .jpg for a headshot in one place and or something laxer such as “up to four inches wide by six inches high, under 1 megabyte, in either a .jpg or .png format.”
    • If you’re having a professional headshot taken, the photographer can usually give you a couple of sizes from the same image.

    You are purposely branding yourself here, so every single thing you post online is going to be part of that package. Once it goes online, it’s part of your brand. There’s no picking and choosing.

    Branded Daters May Get More Dates

    Think the online dating world is an exception to the world of branding?

    Think again!

    Having a brand on a dating site could even be more important than the one you present to the professional/working world.

    In our swipe-happy culture, you get maybe a tenth of a second before someone goes left. What can do you do in a tenth of a second?

    Not much, but if you’ve branded your online dating profile, you’re in control.

    It’s similar to the suggestions we encourage our clients to do with their work images (clear photos, smiling photos, well-groomed photos), but with some twists:

    • Show that personality! We’re not saying to put an image of you standing at a Caligula-style bacchanal with your friends passed out as your first profile picture. But anything that shows who you are and what you love is game. Hint: Now’s the time for those cats and waterfalls!
    • We do encourage people to include full-body shots. Yes, prospective daters want to see what you look like from head to toe. How you look may not be necessarily part of your brand or what you care most about, but guess what? Other people care.
    • Photoshop and 20-year old pictures are so… 20 years ago! You cannot make this error anymore, it’s just unacceptable. Though we can bet your friends still to this day share stories of showing up to an online date with someone 15 years older, 40 pounds heavier, or with 80% less hair than the photos in the profile.

    It’s Not Bragging, It’s Branding!

    Our culture has been taught to avoid being accused of bragging, but branding yourself has nothing to do with having a big head. In fact, you’re towards a goal – a new job, an active dating life, more friends.

    One of the first steps people take after they’ve decided to build their brand is to get those photos, but it can be a daunting task. You could ask your friend’s kid’s uncle’s best friend from high school who “likes to click around with his cell phone camera.”

    Or you could go pro.

    In one professional session, you may be able to get different branded looks, including professional work-related headshots as well as dating profile pictures. You bring the accessories and outfits and the photographer will have the equipment to do the rest.

    The photographer can also help you get the output types and file sizes you need (like those size and graphic requirements to post your photos online).

    Start here to find a photographer to help you in your quest to be the best you can be.