Once upon a time resumes rarely, if ever, contained a photo of the candidate. Now things are different. With the uptake of online profiles, it’s now de-rigour to have not just one photo of yourself, but possibly dozens. Further complicating matters is the hazy area of what’s appropriate for a social network and what’s right for a professional network.
One blogger in the US, Tobias Schremmer, has combed through several hundred LinkedIn photos (offered via the page that says ‘People I May Know’), and has developed a list of 19 ‘epic fail’ photo categories. Here’s our top 10.
1. Just straight-up blurry. (Hello, I'm Digital Photography 101. How have we not met before?)
2. Terrible lighting. (Are you the Dark Knight rising? I can barely make you out from all those shadows.)
3. Random or odd background images. (Nice shot of the waiter behind you carrying a wine bottle under his arm. You are such a bon vivant.)
4. Classic Facebook-style shot No. 1. "I'm just way too happy right now." (Party on, Wayne, but this is LinkedIn. As awesome as you look in a lei, you are succeeding in creating a visual cacophony on what we all know is a business network.)
5. Classic Facebook-style shot No. 2. "Look at my irresistible baby (or pet)." (How dang adorable your offspring is. Oh, but wait, wasn't I on your page to learn about your work accomplishments?")
6. Classic Facebook-style shot No. 3. "Check me out in my low-rent apartment, as evidenced by the microwave oven, Ikea cabinets, and unclean plates on the counter in the background." (Even for a ‘talent management professional’, you should probably tighten it up - unless the talent bank you manage comprises pizza deliverymen.)
7. The boozy smile. (Really? Of all the possible looks you can show us, you want your future boss to have this first impression of you?)
8. "But I love this photo of me…" So, you'll love it too, even though my head is right next to someone else's, the ear and left of eye of which you can still see because I can crop a photo about as well as I can consult for your marketing needs."
9. Mediocre black-and-white. (Black-and-white can really work - if done correctly. However, if your B&W was taken by your 1-megapixel camera circa 2006, then you're not achieving the desired effect.)
10. My favourite fail. The photo that shouts, "Seriously, world, look at just how strikingly beautiful am I in this over-the-top glamour shot." (Congratulations, my dear, you've just turned every male viewer of your pic into Joey Tribbiani from Friends, and every female viewer into, well, I won't go there.)