Making a first impression with a face for radio

Your social media profile photos are creating a first impression whether you like it or not, and they can help or hinder you getting your next job

 If you are not using an image on your CV, chances are that your potential employers or customers are checking you out on social media.  What impressions do you think your social images are projecting?  

That’s the message from Karen Merry from Merry Images.

radioinfo’s feature Faces for Radio is your personal profile page where you can display your details and showcase your CV and Demo. Employers often search this section when looking for new employers. So, if you haven’t already uploaded your details or if you are already featured with us, take the opportunity to make sure your profile pic is the best representation of you and make sure you stand out to prospective employers.

In fact, a study by job website, indicated that recruiters spend more time looking at your photo than reading your resume.  

An eye-tracking heat map found that they spent 19% of their time on your photo and significantly less time reviewing your skills or past work experience. Karen Merry, a professional photographer who specialises in headshots says “people spend a lot of time putting up a profile, creating content and documenting evidence of their experience and successes, but their profile shot might not even get them past the first hurdle.” 

“The message you send with your image is always going to be open to interpretation and although you can’t control your audience’s response, there are definitely photo types you can avoid to improve your chances,” she says.

Here are some tips about the types of images to avoid:   

1. No photo: Silhouette image of generic head  
If you haven’t found time to add your profile photo, remember that you are 14 times less likely to be viewed on social media.  You may think that it shouldn’t make a difference, but it will be interpreted as “what are you hiding?” Projecting a great image of yourself will create a memorable first impression and an authenticity in that connection.  

2. Webcam or phone selfie 
We’ve all done them, right? The truth is that a webcam angle is never flattering. The extra chins from the angle alone should be enough to stop you from taking these shots!  Phone selfies can afford a better angle but can make you look narcissistic, especially if you use the pouty Kardashian look! The connection with your eyes is usually not good on a selfie because you are too busy looking at the screen instead of your camera.  

3. Poor Composition
Cropping your chin out of photo creates an imbalance that will put people off subconsciously. They will know that something is not quite right, but might not recognise why. You have only 1/10 of second to connect, so don’t give people a reason to move on.

4.  Photo with alcohol
You’re all dressed up and feel confident in the photo, but you just happen to have a drink in hand.  Is that so bad?  Yes, it is. It sends an unprofessional message to your audience which may have human resources or agents moving on to the next candidate very quickly!  ​Leave the social shots for social media like Facebook or Instagram feeds but not for your profile photo.

5. Sunglasses
Our eyes are the most important way we can connect with others. They are the window to your soul and will demonstrate your authenticity. Without showing your eyes, there is no connection. 

6. Photos with other people
What was the first thing you looked at in this shot?  Was it the half face?  It’s quite confusing to have half of someone else’s face in your profile shot, and the viewer is drawn to the half face as they try to make sense of the shot. The impression is that something is not quite right.

 When your profile shot is only viewed for a short time, you want it to be as memorable as possible and for all the right reasons. People will want to find out more about you when you look approachable and project a professional image.  Create a reason to connect and generate opportunities.

Karen Merry says, “As a headshot photographer, I have seen some interesting before shots! I can tell you that the difference a professional shot makes to the success of your profile is immeasurable. It’s not about how attractive you are, it’s about the professionalism of the image that you are projecting.”

Now you know what not to do, next week radioinfo will share Karen’s tips on how to make your profile pic stand out.

Your professional headshot doesn’t have to break the bank but it will have a huge impact on your personal image.


Tags: | |