Monday 10 March 2014

Selfies on LinkedIn?

Selfies are becoming increasingly popular - and they have not had a lot of positive publicity lately. However, selfies can be useful at times too; more importantly, selfies for your LinkedIn profile are truly fundamental.

Taking your selfie:

1. Dress appropriately
Before you fire up your phone’s camera, ask yourself if you’d wear the same outfit, hairstyle and makeup to a job interview or first day of work.

Profile photos leave a first impression just as powerful as one made in person, so remember to present yourself accordingly!

2. Select a safe background
While a professional photographer can get creative with where and how they place their subjects for photos, assume you lack the judgment needed to veer outside the safety zone.

Your most foolproof option is to stand in front of a solid background. A plain, clutter-free background mimics the look of a studio and ensures that no objects (like a couch or bathroom mirror) alter the mood of your photo.

3. Go au naturel with lighting
Shoot in the daytime with a window open. A professional photographer once told me that natural light is an amateur’s best friend. It will keep harsh shadows away from your face or neck. Everyone looks awesome in natural light.

4. Pay attention to arm positioning
Keep your arm away from your body to give your photos maximum usable space, which will require less cropping later.

5. Don’t get too intellectual
Facial expression is another area that’s unfortunately not open for experimentation. As much as you might like to dabble in the intellectual side-gaze, it’s just not worth the risk.

Non-smiling faces can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. You might just end up looking bored or even angry. But a smile with solid eye contact is about as universal and friendly as you can get.

Editing Your Selfie
Once you finally have a few shots that look promising, the next step is a little editing.

No advanced or expensive software is needed here. A free online tool like PicMonkey will do. You don’t even need to create an account to use its basic features.

Here are three simple tasks to add quick, precision polish:

1. Crop
Even if you kept your camera-holding arm out of the shot, there’s still a chance your shoulder looks funny. No big deal; just crop out most of that area.

Crop your photos to a perfect square, as this is the standard for LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. A square photo will also translate well to Google+ and Instagram, which use circular profile photos.

2. Add contrast
Another super-quick edit is to adjust contrast. Bumping up contrast makes the photo look crisper and draws out your facial features. Just try not to go overboard, because too much contrast will look artificial.

3. Adjust colour or choose a filter
Finally, consider the colour quality of your photo. Is it tinted a little blue or red? Use colour balance settings to even out colours.

Read on 10 ways to improve your profile

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


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