By Meg Guiseppi
Have you ever seen someone's photo and then met them, only to find that the photo was out of sync with who you saw?
Your photo usually sits at the top of your online profiles or website "About" page. It will be the first thing on the web page to capture people's attention. It can either repel or compel recruiters and hiring decision makers to want to read more about you, and consider hiring you for a job they're trying to fill.
Using the wrong photo can disqualify you and tarnish your brand reputation.
And not including a photo at all can be just as damaging.
Branding is about creating emotional connections. People believe content more when it's accompanied by the author's photo. An online profile with no photo is a missed opportunity to reinforce your brand and engage people.
While doing research recently on LinkedIn, I came across some profile photos that were terrible choices:
I've seen many inappropriate Twitter profile photos for people whose bios indicate they're job-hunting:
What kind of message do you think these people are sending to recruiters and hiring decision makers assessing them for jobs? Unless their goal was to give a negative impression, they made bad image choices.
Choose your online photo wisely. The wrong photo may kill your chances to be considered for the jobs you want.
Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt's Personal Branding Expert and 20+ year careers industry veteran, has earned 10 certifications, including Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Reach Social Branding Analyst – LinkedIn Profile Strategist, and Certified Executive Resume Master. Meg is the author of "23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land." Connect with Meg at ExecutiveCareerBrand.com for c-suite personal branding and executive job search help and on Google+ and Twitter (@MegGuiseppi). And, you may also download Meg's free ebook - Job-Hunt Guide to Smart Personal Branding with LinkedIn.