So you just pulled your iPhone, snapped a quick selfie, attached it to your CV and sent it to your (hopefully) future employer. You know it wasn’t the most professional thing to do, but you were in a rush. The offer had just gone up and you needed to send it right away. Better to be one of the first to get there than to be one of the last with the pretty picture. Right?
After a while, you got used to it. Never mind your forehead was a bit shiny and there were a couple of loose hairs. It was one of the best pictures you had taken recently and you even used Photoshop to get rid of that nasty pimple that decided to pop up that day. There is just a tiny problem. You’re not getting as many interviews and you would like.
That quick selfie. The one you thought would save you time and money is actually holding you back. Sure there might also be some issues with your experience, but their most likely calling the one with the professional photo. We’re a shallow species and the human resources man or woman is no exception to the rule. Some might think that if you don’t take your picture seriously than you probably also don’t take your career seriously. For example, this poor woman didn’t get promoted for years because of a bad photo.
And guess what, it’s not only your CV. Your Twitter and Facebook profile might also be hindering you. You might ask, but what does that got to do with my job? Facebook is supposed to be about your private life, right? Well… Nowadays Google is HR’s best friend.
“76% of companies said that they do use or are planning to use social media sites for recruiting” Source.
Google will sniff you out and it will find the embarrassing pictures you forgot about. It might have been fun in our early twenties to tag every single photo of ourselves of every single party, but in our late twenties, the Tequila hugging mug shot might not be so flattering. Also, delete old profiles on sites you no longer visit. Yes, I’m talking about that Myspace account. It might take you a few of minutes, but it will save you of future pains. I promise.
It is also important to keep in mind that the recruiting process varies from industry to industry. A law firm has very different standards compared to those of a graphic design company. The latter might find amusing the fact that you enjoy dressing as Superman on the weekends. The first one – not so much.
As I said before, we are shallow creatures and first impressions can carry you a long way. So make sure you have a nice professional picture on your CV and Linkedin profile. They might not be necessary for Facebook, but get rid of the beer chugging ones – or at least untag yourself.