Profile pictures - what is and isn't acceptable?

11 February 2020

By Robyn Warwick

When you're looking for work, what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to your profile pictures on social media? (we're assuming you're looking for office-based work)

When you are looking for work you are being scrutinised, and potentially judged, by hiring managers or prospective future bosses based on what they can find out about you. Some of that is information you or your recruiter has provided, the rest of it will potentially be what they can find out by Googling you.

Many decision makers will look up your social media accounts to get a better insight into your personality and career, regardless of whether you have given them the links to you profiles. Some will use what they find to rule you in or out of a recruitment process.

With that in mind, a profile picture on any work related account should be professional. No exceptions! You can’t go wrong with a (smiling?) headshot against a plain backdrop, wearing something fairly conservative. Your profile pictures should show you to be ‘professional, reliable and employable.’

Please fight the urge to upload any other type of picture including; a wedding picture, a photo taken on a night out, one of you holding what might be an alcoholic drink, a shot of you with your children or animals, a snap of you pouting or posing or anything with you scantily clad.

If you’re on the lookout for a job – there’s more information in our website.

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