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8 Things to Consider When Selecting Your Freelance Profile Photo

Richard ClaytonRichard Clayton
June 14, 2015

You may hate it but the truth is that people, including potential clients and employers, tend to judge you by the way you look. And when you are marketing yourself as a freelancer, your profile photo is everything. Your picture builds integrity, reputation, and trust, and most of the time it is the first thing that employers see when considering you for prime positions. So before you click the “Upload” button, consider first the qualities of a good profile picture.

1. Headshots Only

Your profile picture should be a clear shot of your face, head, neck, and shoulders. Clients want to see your face. So keep it clean (shaven, no heavy makeup), simple, and professional-looking. Stay away from unorthodox, wacky shots, caricatures, selfies, or photos with family, friends, and pets. And don’t forget to wear that friendly, sincere smile.

2. No Sunglasses Please

Sure, it may look like you are on a grand vacation and portrays a mysterious and suave personality. But, when it comes to business, it can significantly hurt your image and you won’t be having any inquiries from prospective clients anytime soon.

3. Check if You’ve Got the “Squinch”

Wide eyes may sometimes come across as vulnerable, fearful and uncertain while slightly squinted eyes depict a confident and cheerful nature.

4. Plain Background

Having too many components in your background will make the photo look cluttered. Keep the background clean, free from any distraction, and as simple as possible.

5. Stick to the Requirements

Brush up on some technical requirements of your profile photo. You can rescale your picture in graphics editors such as Photoshop and GIMP. And, never ever skimp on photo quality.

6. Check Your Lighting

Choose a picture that shows you in the best light. There are so many benefits and features of lighting, just make sure that your face isn’t obscured by any shadows or over exposed with too much light.

7. Think Positive

Relax a bit and smile. Think happy thoughts as Peter Pan would say. Most of the clients want to see smiling, warm, and friendly faces. Why? Because it’s very hard to frown while looking at a picture of a smiling person so use this to your advantage and put them in a good mood.

8. Dress Formally

Formal attire is influential and showcases competency. If you are a man, select a light colored button-down under a dark colored suit for a professional and approachable look.  Interestingly enough studies show that wearing a jacket  increases your likelihood to get a meeting face-to-face by 14%. For women, wear business attire and be sure not to go heavy on the makeup/ jewelry.

Remember that a picture speaks a thousand words. It’s best to tone things down a bit when choosing a profile picture for your freelancing profile and think how you want to portray yourself to your potential clients. The bottom line is that your picture can either aid you in making a great impression or prevent you from doing so. Choose wisely!

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