“One cannot not communicate” or in other words, “it is impossible not to communicate”. This is the first of Watzlawick’s five axioms of communication, and as far as we know, it applies to every moment of our life. Owe communicate through our words and gestures of course, but also through our mere presence and even through silence as it can send a strong message to anyone around… so it just seems natural to think that a photo can say a lot about you.
Though you may choose not to put a photo on your résumé, recruiters agree to say that it gives a personal touch and a warmer approach. In the end it’s not only a bunch of experiences and degrees strategically jotted down on a paper; it’s you trying to be chosen for a new professional opportunity. No one would say “give me the job” to a HR Manager without at least saying “hi” first! So let’s find out how to select the right photo to introduce yourself, get the attention you want and give the best first impression you need through these 10 Do’s and Don’ts.
DO take a fresh new picture every once in a while (you should show the way you look now)
DON’T use an old photo or group shots (this also includes the picture you have with your best friend putting his/her arms around you)
DO find a nice background with good lighting
DON’T overexpose or underexpose it
DO smile in a natural and confident way
DON’T exaggerate poses
DO decide whether to use a color or black and white picture (it will depend on the artistic look or the design twist you want to give to your CV)
DON’T wear sunglasses or wear clothing that is too informal, exclude all distracting accessories
DO try to maintain eye contact with the camera
DON’T touch it up in excess (this goes for Instagram filters and Photoshop retouching)
Following these simple tips will guarantee you a great photo. We know it’s just the first step, but you can be sure that it will give you a small advantage to start with and that it will participate to you projecting the right image. Now, go check your emails or do something while waiting for that phone to ring!