Job seekers and professionals want every edge possible in their job hunt. With information available at their fingertips, searching the internet for a candidate (on LinkedIn for example) has become a part of today’s professional reality.
For lawyers who have little time to spare to make a great first impression, the internet provides tools that do more than a resume or cover letter could. Leveraged properly, it becomes your own professional pitch with the ability to reach millions in a matter of seconds. You simply never know who will search for you on today (recruiters, colleagues, clients, employers, business contacts…).
If you are a member of a firm, it’s usually simple enough to just use your “firm photo” as a picture for your online profiles. But what if you don’t really like your photo, or if you are on the hunt for something new (or if you realize that your firm does not have a photo of you for whatever reason?
Consider these factors when selecting your photo for any online image.
Does your photo appear altered?
Filters are taking over social media news feeds and can be fun to use in your personal life. Make sure that your photograph takes on the appropriate perspective to attract the target audience. Increasingly, recruiters and human resources personnel check candidates out on the internet before extending an offer—and a photograph of the candidate (alone—keep the team photos or photos with famous people on other parts of the page) creates the strongest impression. This means that in your photo, you need to appear confident, career-serious (but not angry), and professional. That type of polished image is not conveyed through a selfie or a graduation shot.
Additionally, avoid having a highly filtered or edited pictures. Showing up to an interview where you look nothing like your photograph can create the wrong impression (you want to show that you are capable of meeting expectations).
Are you properly dressed?
Networking is an integral part of a lawyer’s growth—which the internet plays a critical role in. Don’t miss out on potentially great opportunities by downplaying your professional picture. You want to be dressed for the job you want. The internet places everything on blast, and your photograph will be widely visible. Your photograph serves as the most effective, efficient way to establish your personal brand and to convey it with enthusiasm and energy. Just as you would not show up in casual attire to an important business meeting or an awards ceremony, do not take a chance missing out on a great networking opportunity by having a photo that’s featuring you in gym attire.
Wait…do you have a photograph of you?
A website or LinkedIn profile with a professional looking headshot gets more views than those without. This warrants an investment in an appropriate photograph. If possible, seek out a professional photographer (or a talented friend) that can capture an image which enhances your professional stature.
Your photograph can truly accentuate and accelerate your career potential. Upload a profile picture that speak a thousand words for you, at first glance.