• 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!

  • 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!