It's well recognised that we all make snap decisions and make a significant number of assumptions, about a whole range of people and things, in that first few seconds when we see someone for the first few times, or look at something new and unfamiliar;
* Research from a range of universities shows us this
* Interviewers and interviewees are told that from the outset (first impressions count)
* Web page and UI professionals keep in telling their clients that the research show this (first views count)
* Product designers and adverting people know this (first visual impacts count)
* You've seen it when you've been out on a social occasion (first impressions REALLY count).
So when was the last time you looked at your profile pic (no, not that selfie that you uploaded on the weekend), on your professional company website, professional social media site (yes, I do mean LinkedIn for one) and any other promotional material that is linked to you, e.g. company flyers, ID and business cards, etc.?
Yeah, it's probably been a while and you haven't thought about it all that much because you're not looking YOU up every day, every week, or checking YOU out every month or so (at least I hope your'e not too narcissistic do be doing it that often) .
That doesn't mean that other people aren't, or haven't been checking you out and seeing what you're career and skills sets are these days, what you've been up to professionally speaking. I'm not talking about stalking here, lets be clear on that, but professional curiosity.
I'm talking about recruiting agencies, colleagues and friends in other organisations and businesses or even people that you used to go to school, college or university with. They're all busy getting stuff done and maybe they are also interested to see if there are any opportunities to catch up.
Opportunity and career options can come from anywhere and sometimes right out of the blue, so its kind of critical that you keep your professional details, including your profile picture, up-to-date and current.
No, a 'cool looking' selfie isn't going to make the grade. It never really did.
A professional profile means getting a professional headshot done (that is not a gaming reference BTW) and entrusting a professional photographer to capture your look, character and be able to do that for that first few critical split seconds that it takes when someone, e.g. a potential new employer, business partner or investor, to look up your profile.
Content IS important but first impressions are CRITICAL.
Use a professional photographer. Trust me, you will notice the difference.