Getting a Professional Profile Picture: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Who doesn’t have a million profiles

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Every time you do anything – from reviewing a restaurant to applying for a job – you’re invited to create a user profile and upload a picture.

That little thumbnail is what represents you to the virtual world, so it better be good. Should you call in the professionals?

Estee Lauder seems to think so. The brand is now hosting events where their pros give you a complimentary makeup application, take your photo, and help you post it online.

They call it “putting your best face in cyberspace.”

Is this good image management? Or just plain vanity?


  • The Good.

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If you use the Internet for professional purposes, it might be a good idea to get a clear shot of yourself without the red-eye flash effect.

You can post it on your LinkedIn profile, your own personal Web site, or the profiles you’ve created for any professional organizations of which you’re a member.

In the same way you’d want to look your best at an interview, your profile on these sites sends a first impression. Might as well make it a blemish-free, rosy-glow one.

And because profile pictures can often be very small, it’s good to have one of just your face, without distracting backgrounds or other people.


  • The Bad.

Depending on how you use Twitter, a pro shot could be perfect, or it could be absurd. Twitter is really about branding yourself, so a better choice – for that teeny, tiny picture – is something that represents you as a brand.

Your logo, something that represents you, or just a nice jpeg of your name might be a better choice. The thing is, sometimes professional pictures can come across looking, well, a little too soft-core porn.

The subject looks great, but in a cheesy way. Something about the all-white background and perfect lip liner can be a little creepy when taken out of context.

And with so many porn spammers on Twitter, it’s best not to get confused for one. And it’s probably best to keep this picture out of your online dating profile.

It can make people think you’re a wannabe actress (ugh!) or just really self-involved.


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Alex Wise
I started blogging in the summer of 2008 as a way to have an alternative outlet for my creativity. My writing career was at a standstill and I was dying for an audience (any writer who tells you they don’t want an audience is lying). Friends had been suggesting, for years, that I write about dating. I’ve always been a prolific dater and had plenty of dating stories to share, so I went with it. And blogging seemed like a great way to find an audience. I am also a co-founder of Loveawake dating site
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