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5 profile picture mistakes keeping you from getting your next job by Owais Rafique

It's time to scrap that awkward cropped cell phone selfie.

Whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, recruiters will look you up to put a face to your application. Having a professional picture will set you apart from the competition. It differentiates you from Internet bots and humanizes you. To help you get that corner office or your dream job - Below are 5 key mistakes keeping you from getting your next job.

1. Bad photo online

Having a good profile photo is the cornerstone of your personal brand. The obvious place HR would search is LinkedIn and if you don't have a picture there, you can bet that they are Google searching for one. Make sure you do the same and remove all partying pictures that make you look sloppy.

2. Clothing is KEY!

If you don't wear a tie to work, don't wear one in your photo. Having simple clothing with no distracting patters or logos that work in your everyday style is recommended. During a photo-shoot it's always best to bring multiple outfits so you can try what works for you while shooting.

3. Your photo is as old as the Queen of England

Maybe you looked great in 1995; it doesn't mean that people will look past your highlights and popped collar. It just shows that you are behind the times, which is a red flag in today’s society. We recommend updating your profile picture every two years or if you lose / gain significant weight (Although you can get better looking with age - check out our future blog post on skincare for men)

4. Expression

Amber

The most common mistake most people make is the 'mannequin' smile - this is the ear-splitting grin that make you look fake and overeager. Having a blank stare is just as bad. Your picture needs to show personality and there is no better way than to show it with your expression.

Depending on your industry, stick to a slight smile. If you're in sales or the corporate world you can strike a serious face but adding a slight grin can make you seem more welcoming and approachable.

5. Lighting

Profoto

You may have a friend who has a really cool camera and is willing to take your picture for free but chances are that they don't have the the knowledge and hardware to prevent dark circles under the eyes and skin. Go with a photographer who is experienced in lighting and retouching to make you look your best naturally.