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Making Your Photo Look Professional: What You Need To Know

Published by Espresso-Jobs, February 23rd, 2017

A recruiter who is interested in your application will look you up online and inevitably come across a photo of you. Consequently, managing your online image has become a must. Here are some tips to follow!

In Quebec, you don’t add a photo to your applications. However, whether you like it or not, a recruiter will want to know what you look like and will look you up on social networks. Upon seeing your picture, the recruiter will already get a first impression of you. If you’re looking for a job, you should follow these tips, taken from Jobboom, to make your photo look professional.

  • The right choice. Try to find a photo in which you’re the only person. Also, cropping a family photo is not a great idea. No one wants to see your youngest child’s shoulder or your spouse’s hair intruding in the photo.
  • Good resolution. Nevertheless, you may have to crop parts of the photo and reframe it. If this is the case, choose a photo that is sufficiently large. Otherwise, your face may turn out pixelated once you’ve adjusted the image – and you don't want that!
  • Framing. What people want to see in the picture is you and only you. Your upper torso and face are enough. Make sure a flashy background doesn’t steal the limelight.
  • Picture clarity and sharpness. Not only do people want to see no one but you, they want to see you properly. So choose a photo that shows the colour of your eyes and hair and forget about blurry pictures. Leave the soft focus for other subjects.
  • Professional setting. A quality photo should be taken in a professional context. You may like your vacation or Christmas party photos, but they won’t look very professional and they could be misinterpreted by a recruiter. So adjust your privacy settings so that these pictures are only seen by your friends.
  • Unobscured face. Large glasses, huge earrings, hats, scarves or hoods will conceal much of your face. Recruiters don’t want to judge your appearance, but rather see who you are. So don’t hide yourself.
  • A real photo. Forget about using a drawing or an illustration as a professional photo, unless you want to give the impression that you have something to hide…

Photo shoot

Do you want to go all out and create a custom photo? That’s an excellent idea and professional photographers will be delighted to help you. But if you don’t have the budget for that, you don’t necessarily have to call on a professional. You can certainly take a satisfactory photo with any camera. But in order to do that, make sure you follow these rules:

  • Lighting. Daylight will give you a natural look, unlike cold neon lighting. But be careful not to stand in such a way that you're backlit. Position yourself facing the window and not with your back to the window.
  • The background. As mentioned above, make sure to choose a neutral background. Also, don’t press your back to the wall. That could make you look like a prisoner.
  • Choose proper clothing. If you want a professional photo, you need a professional look. Dress the same way you would dress for a job interview.
  • No selfies. Surely you have a friend who could improvise as a photographer? Selfies will never give you the results you want. Ever.