Are you marking yourself with a cartoon or anime as profile photos on your social media accounts? That’s not a good deal, even if your business is creating cartoon avatars for other people. That’s what a portfolio is for, but not your own profile picture.

Some people head to a cartoon creation site and turn their photos into cartoons. Or they’ll rely on the computer-generated avatar for members who haven’t bothered to upload their own photos.

That could be fine for your personal Facebook page or a general non-business blog.

But it is not okay if you are promoting yourself as a professional business person, no matter what type of business you are in.

Profile photos are so essential to modern communication that a good one becomes a basic necessity. And that couldn’t be more true than for those of us whose professional lives are tied to social media profiles. “ says Ann Pierce of

Obviously, different sites require different profile photos. You may want to put a “sexy” image on a dating site, but that same image won’t work well on a business Facebook, LinkedIn, or IBOToolbox fan page.

And especially if you’re looking for a new job or looking to make business connections online, your photo can make or break a first impression.

Here are some tips from contributor Stephanie St. Martin for creating photos for your social media profiles:

People seek to connect with you immediately and get a sense of your personality. You should think of your image as your “first impression” online. You want to choose a happy and memorable photo of yourself.

No, we do not mean that it was taken by a professional. Use a photo that you would put on a job application, not on a dating website or Facebook profile page. You don’t want anything that’s provocative, reveals too much skin, or looks unprofessional. You don’t want anything you took in a car or some other strange place. Pick a photo that you would put on LinkedIn or feel comfortable giving to your boss. Remember: you want your image to show maturity and reliability.

Of course
You’d be surprised how many blurry shots we see. Or photographs that were clearly taken by the provider holding the camera at arm’s length (often in the car), also known as a “selfie.” Ask a friend to take a picture of you with a good resolution camera. Look into the camera and look directly into the lens. Don’t wear sunglasses or hide your face anyway. Hiding your face makes it look like you have something to hide.

Do not upload a photo of yourself with friends or family, especially for your main photo. It is too confusing which person you are. If you love the photo, try cropping your friend, but if that is not possible, take a new photo. If this photo is one of your additional photos on your profile page, just make sure it’s clear who you are.

No pets
Animal lovers love to show off their. But your main profile photo shouldn’t just be a photo of your four-legged friend. People are not interested in doing business with your pet, they are looking to connect with you! Make sure you are the focus of the photo. Feel free to include pictures of your pets in your secondary shots.

Without Photoshop
We all love photos with fun borders and creative effects. But sometimes the strange format makes it difficult for others to see.

“At the end of the day, your profile picture should be appropriate and professional. By having a great photo, business prospects don’t have a reason to ‘skip’ it and will take the time to read how amazing it is. So take your time! time to make a great first impression and get a great profile picture! “

Source: “The Perfect Profile Picture” by Ann Pierce
Source: “Is your profile picture hurting your job search?” By Stephanie St. Martin, Contributor

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