Profile Photos

How Often Should You Update Your Profile Photos?

EVER BOOKED A PERSON FOR A SESSION ONLINE ONLY TO FIND THEM Almost Unrecognizable When You Meet Them In Person? In the last few years, a lot more people have become more visible online. As a result, platforms like social media, Zoom, LinkedIn, personal websites, and others have emerged as essential platforms for remote collaboration and social interaction. Including a profile photo is an option on the majority of these platforms, of course. You updated yours last, when was that?

“The headshot is a greeting. It’s a first impression, and, whether we like it or not, we live in a visual world,” says Craig Toron of Toron Photography It was common to hear accounts of people who put on weight, lost weight, or stopped dying their hair over the past year. There might be a disconnect between our actual appearance and the pictures we use to represent ourselves online now that many people are back at work. First impressions are important, but is it really a big deal if we don’t look exactly like we do in the photo?

Peggy Loo, a psychologist at Manhattan Therapy Collective, says, “When we first see someone’s picture and then meet them in person, there is always a moment of recalibration. More likely than not, the question is going to be how much internal adjustment takes place, not so much “if” it happens. A pleasant surprise, for instance, is meeting someone on a first date who is more attractive in person than they appear to be online. While meeting a doctor who looks much younger in person than they do in their profile picture might make you wonder how much experience they actually have.”

Photos give us a general idea of someone’s appearance, but a two-dimensional image cannot convey all of their qualities. “This is especially true with regard to height and stature, which is impossible to tell through a photo,” Loo says. “As a therapist, I had therapy patients that I had not yet had the opportunity to meet in person because we began our sessions via teletherapy in 2020. I had never seen them from below the shoulders before this year! I met patients who were significantly taller or shorter than I had anticipated, and learning those details did force me to revise my overall impression of who they were. Furthermore, it helped me understand how others view them (such as, a petite woman showing up for an interview will elicit different impressions than one who is very tall). As a cognitive-behavioral psychologist, I constantly promote cognitive flexibility, or the capacity to change your perspective or the way you think. I believe that your capacity for cognitive flexibility may have an impact on the extent and rate of “recovery” you experience when changing your initial perceptions.”

Sadly, some people will draw conclusions about you based solely on a photograph, and those conclusions help to shape how we see others. “The first thing people encounter is the delta” between how you represent yourself in a photo and how you look in person, Described by retired human resources executive and career coach Marion Dino. “The idea that you are dependable should come across. Most people don’t judge on purpose, but we all have unconscious biases, and if you don’t represent yourself honestly, you put yourself at risk of being perceived as being less than honest.” Most of the time, a résumé doesn’t include a profile photo, but “recruiters do look at LinkedIn and other social media platforms,” Dino says. “Avoid giving off the impression that you are not genuine.”

Given this information, it might seem easier to forgo a profile photo altogether, especially if you are worried about discrimination. But not having a photo can also be a problem. On almost every platform, fake profiles are prevalent, and accounts that don’t appear complete, particularly those with blank photo sections, give the impression that they are less reliable. A viewer may wonder what you are trying to hide, and it can be “easier to dismiss someone and find a reason not to pursue them as a candidate,” says Instead of conducting further research to determine whether they are a good fit for a position, Dino.

People who require updated headshots because of the pandemic’s impact on their appearance have been calling Toron frequently lately. The majority of people are still hesitant to update their photos, despite the fact that he has been busy helping people with that. “There are executives who post the same headshot for 14 years,” Toron says. “Instead of displaying a thinning hairline or wrinkles, they would prefer to hang onto older photos of themselves.” Although it might seem that older people would be less hesitant to take and use new photos, Toron claims that his younger clients are no different. “They aim to appear more responsible. They want to be perceived as having wisdom,” he says.

Here are some suggestions for taking a fantastic new home photo if you need a refresh and don’t want to spend the time or money on professional headshots. “Wear a solid color and keep the background basic,” Toron says. “You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, just dress professionally. A button-down shirt or blouse is acceptable, but make sure it is not outdated.” Make sure your face is illuminated sufficiently. An excellent tool is natural light from a window. Put yourself in front of the window, close by. You will receive gentle, even lighting as a result, free from jarring shadows. To get a proper angle for your selfie, use a tripod rather than holding the phone, and take several pictures in quick succession so you have a selection. “Confidence comes from the jawline that you extend,” Toron says. “Posing and positioning correctly can make a photo timeless and help it stand the test of time. The individual’s face should be the only thing viewers can concentrate on without being diverted. The brightest parts of the image that a person first notices are the eyes and the smile.”

In order for someone to not be put off when you meet in person, how often should you update your photos? “Unless there has been a significant change in appearance, profile pictures should be updated every three years. They should then be taken sooner.” Therefore, consider how you want to be perceived the next time you scroll through LinkedIn, join a Zoom meeting, or even send an email with a thumbnail profile photo. Don’t be afraid to use a photo that accurately captures who you are.

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