College graduation. The end of epic parties, dorms, bathroom sharing and all nighters. Tons of mirror-in-the-bathroom selfies showing your OOTD. And the beginning of the rest of your life. What’s your next move? Facebook: not so much. Snapchat: slow going. But a sophisticated selfie to help you nail that first job? You got it.
With a recent survey showing that the average millennial may take around 25,700 selfies during their lifetime, there’s no doubt that the selfie is here to stay. Now it’s time to take it up a notch. So forget the duckface and put your skills to work at taking a photo that’s worthy of your growing LinkedIn profile.
Why is it important to have a profile picture, anyway? LinkedIn, probably the most popular professional networking sites, says that your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed if you have a photo linked to it.
So make it sophisticated! Put your best face forward and get the attention you deserve after all those papers, exams and late night study sessions!
Photo bombers beware: your selfie should have NO distractions in the background. We have all seen too many profile photos with a couch in the background. Amateurish! Go for a neutral background and keep the focus on your face.
A clean, well-lit place.
Natural light is best (flash beware, especially for us eyeglasses wearers!) so think about taking your selfie outside or near a window. Keep the sun in front of you to shed some light on your features, but not so much that you’re squinting!
What’s the angle?
Everyone has a “good side,” so take your photo from different angles to show off yours! Holding the phone a little higher than your head and angling it toward your face (better yet, grab that selfie stick!) can help make your eyes look bigger and de emphasize your nose. Like anything, it’ll take some practice to get it right!
To filter or not to filter.
Not every filter is right for selfies, so be careful here. Keep it simple. And recognizable. And professional. Skip the filter.
When you’re smiling…
A smile shows that you’re approachable! Flash your gleaming grin and show your “I’ve got this” confidence. Smile with your teeth (it doesn’t have to be a Julia Roberts ear to ear!); this boosts the perception of likability!
Of course you want to brush out that pimple on your chin, but don’t overedit your photo so much that the hiring manager has to ask for identification (“I’m sorry, you look so different in your profile picture!”) Keep the face tuning to a minimum so your selfie looks natural.
There are tons of free photo editing apps available in different formats for your smartphone. Some of my faves:
CamMe: this is great if you don’t want the obvious arm extension that screams “selfie.” It’s like having a camera remote…without the remote. Place your phone, raise your hand and close it to snap! Easy peasy.
Snapseed: one of the most popular free photo editing apps for the iPhone. It’s super easy to use, with cool tools to take your selfie to the next level. Plus, you can find a bunch of tutorials online.
Photo Editor by Aviary: My personal favorite, this free app offers the basic teeth whitening, blemish correcting tools, plus simple lighting and color adjustments. And there’s a tutorial for every feature!
Are you ready for your close up? Ready, aim, snap!