If you’re based in North America, you have probably been told that putting your photo on your resume is a ‘no-no.’ Companies are uncomfortable with resumes that include photos because it puts them at risk of being seen as discriminating against someone because of race, age or gender. Headhunters advise you to keep your photo off your resume and disguise information that may reveal some demographic information about you.
When it comes to your online profile, you may want to disregard that advice.
The internet (especially the social- media aspect of it) has torn down walls and eliminated geographic boundaries — making it easier to connect with people from all over the world. But unlike real-world communications, your web-based communications seem more anonymous. Some readers of internet content are dubious about its authenticity because the World Wide Web can be such a vast and impersonal place. One way to make your online content more personal is to show ‘em your mug.
Your headshot is an important element of your online personal brand. It allows people to connect a face with a virtual identity.
More importantly, it makes your content more credible.
When I refer to your headshot, I am talking about a professionally taken photo that reflects your personal brand — not a picture your mother took of you at last year’s family picnic! It’s worth investing in a session with a professional portrait photographer and getting a collection of photos that you can use in online personal branding. Having a few different headshots will help people get to know different sides of your personality and make your results more interesting when someone performs a Google Image search on you.
Where to show your face?
Now that you’re convinced of the importance of posting your headshot on the World Wide Web, think about where you would like to make your face visible. Here are ten places where you can include your headshot:
1. Social-networking sites like LinkedIn , Facebook, Ziggs, Ziki, Naymz
The above sites, plus all the other Web 2.0 sites you use for building visibility and connecting with others. It’s a core element of your standard profile.
2. Your e-mail signature
This is a great place to make your e-mails more personal. Of course, with your corporate e-mail, you need to comply with company guidelines.
3. Your blog
If you have a b log or traditional Web site, you should post your photo (preferably on the homepage). And if you are an author, public speaker or an expert source for the press, include an area where event planners, clients and reporters can download a variety of photos of you in different sizes.
4. Flickr and other photo-archiving sites
This is a valuable resource for sharing images and a great place for you to store all of your professional photos including your headshot and the photos that you have from real-world networking meetings or that were taken when you were delivering a presentation.
5. Web-bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon
These tools help you store, archive and rate your favorite content on the web and allow you to upload a profile. As with social -networking sites, they provide an opportunity for you to include your photo.
6. Your comments on other Web sites and blogs .
Blog-commenting software like Disqus (pronounced discuss) allows you to upload a profile and photo . Your profile is automatically included when you post comments on Disqus-enabled b logs.
Include your photo on your YouTube profile and other video-sharing sites you use.
This is an aggregator that takes content from all over the Web and creates a Web site for you. If you haven’t claimed your profile, go to zoominfo.com, claim your profile, clean it up (it likely contains content that is not related to you) and post your headshot. 20 percent of Fortune 100 companies research candidates on ZoomInfo.
It’s great for people to connect a face with a voice. Upload your photo on Skype – especially if you don’t have a webcam to make video calls.
Include your photo on your Twitter profile. You can also customize you Twitter page with any images and backgrounds you choose.
Bonus: Amazon.com. As you build community around the books that relate to your area of expertise and write reviews of books, you will want people to see who is behind all those words of wisdom!