It’s 2021 – and even job interviews are virtual now. All the more reason to make sure you have a stunning professional selfie – for your resume, LinkedIn profile, website, and freelance gig. Whatever you are looking for, making a good first impression starts with a good picture. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The problem is making sure your professional photo says the right kind of words. Don’t panic; I’ve thought of everything to make sure your professional selfie will land you your dream job.
For further reading, please check out our corporate headshot guide.
This isn’t just any selfie; this is the king of all selfies. You can’t get away with using a blurry iPhone 5 camera. If your phone doesn’t have a good enough camera, grab a friend’s phone. If you have got your hands on an iPhone, try the Portrait mode – it works magic.
Double check that the lens is clean and not covered in fingerprints and check that the settings are correct for the light. You want to show employees that you do a good job, not a half-hearted one.
When you take a regular selfie, it might now matter what is behind you. In a professional selfie, what is behind you can say as much about you as how you look. Many people just stick with a plain background: nothing busy or distracting. A clean wall will do; make sure there are no dirty marks!
However, if you want your photo to really stand out, why not try taking a selfie outside? The fresh air and natural light can make for a great pic. It’ll help you stand out from all the other photos on LinkedIn. If the outdoors doesn’t really suit your line of work, you can try an office background, a bookshelf, or sat on a smart sofa.
Again, whatever you choose, make sure it’s neutral and not too busy. The background should support you, looking fantastic, not be the focus of the photo.
If ever there was a time to overthink what you are going to wear, now is the time. Try and think about which colours suit you and which tops are flattering. A smart striped top, a blouse, a V-neck jumper, and even a plain top with a blazer are all great options.
Try taking photos in lots of different outfits. What looks good in the mirror might not look good in a picture.
Make sure whatever you wear isn’t too distracting, busy, or revealing. Keep it classy. Less is definitely more when it comes to accessories. You might love hats and chunky jewellery but you probably won’t be crafting a bold look at work every day, so keep it calm.
Like any other selfie, the right pose and the right angles can make or break the photo. But professional selfies are twice as hard. You have to look friendly and approachable but also determined and focussed. You can’t just flash a smile and hope for the best. Some critical don’ts: unless you’re going for a modeling gig, don’t be sexy. Forget the seductive hand near the mouth or my-boobs-are-obviously-obvious and I’m casually leaning against this wall. Don’t throw up a peace sign, and don’t stick out your tongue. You want to show you’re reliable and responsible, not fun and carefree.
Try looking at other people’s photos to see which poses you like. Try a few out and see what feels comfortable. If you feel awkward pulling a pose, it’ll show. And there’s no need to pose like one of the ZARA clothing models crouching like a gremlin. A nice normal pose is fine. Keep it relaxed. Try out a few poses in different outfits with different backgrounds. Try shifting your weight and leaning on one leg, then trying stepping one foot forward and leaning on the second leg. I totally recommend crossing your arms – it’s a total power pose – but cross them loosely or you’ll end up looking grumpy.
Easier said than done, I know! But if you’re tense and anxious, you might just end up looking like you need the toilet! Your goal here is to serve confidence and poise, without the aggression.
Remember, this isn’t the interview; you don’t need to be perfect the first time. The great part of taking selfies is that you can delete the ugly ones before anyone sees them, or use a professional selfie editor. Or So, try the new pose, have fun with it, relax and see what happens. Just make sure you upload the right one!