“eDate my resume” … ?

Why not?  After all, there are a lot of similarities between looking for a date and looking for a job.  Whether your intentions are ‘for now’ or ‘forever’, we all have criteria and expectations that we measure against possible mates and careers opportunities. And one of them, much as we don’t like to admit it, is looks.

The truth is, looks do matter. A lot. Even eHarmony, the dating website that bases its whole existence on deeper degrees of compatibility, gives pointers on what your profile photo should look like. Why? Because even in the land where values, interests and personality reign supreme, we cannot bypass the fact that we are attracted to, relate to and identify with people based on an initial judgement of their look.  Match.com profile photo FAQ boasts you can learn which photo can give your profile 15 times more attention than those without.  We want to SEE first, and only then, if they’ve passed that assessment, will we read on …

It’s not that different when it comes to finding a match in the working world.

You’re on LinkedIn?  Awesome! With 175 million users, LinkedIn has become the business world’s most important social networking tool. So get your profile right; it’s important! Think about it: It’s where bosses, colleagues, H.R. departments, recruiters, business networkers – in short, your whole professional community, check you out and size you up. That photo you post, it’s the first thing anyone sees … so make sure the “you” it portrays makes them want to see the rest.

If it’s worth a thousand words, what does your profile pic say about your personal brand?

  • Your styling: Does it reflect the industry you are working or networking in?
  • Your grooming:  Are you at your personal best?
  • Where are you: Casual outdoors, building lobby, professional office or studio?
  • How are you posed: Creative, approachable, powerful? Are you smiling?
  • Quality: Was the photo shot by a professional?

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Big name players at the top of their industry, who have already branded themselves with a particular photo, or particular look, can get away with using a more casual photo. And that’s ok. In fact, that’s amazing!  But for the rest of us common folk, it is highly advisable not to choose some random mobile phone pic of you having fun at a hockey game, the beach or during a night out on the town. It’s overly relaxed and hyper casual. Remember, this platform is for your career growth, not your personal life! This is the land where responsible, ethical and professional outweigh fun-loving and carefree, any day of the week. It’s also worth an honourable mention that the pic should be in focus, have no red-eye (you’d be surprised) or have someone else visibly cropped out.  It sounds really basic, but you’d be amazed what some people think is appropriate for their “professional” first impression.

So go for it, start by putting your best face forward, and court the industry of your dreams! With business networking being listed as one of the top interests on online dating profiles, how can the reverse not be possible? Ask the business community to eDate your resume.  They’re going to anyway, even if you don’t realize it.