Professional photos of you online

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Sonic#
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Professional photos of you online

Post by Sonic# » Thu Mar 8, 13:27 2018

Today I received a text from my immediate supervisor. He recommended I change my picture on our website immediately, as it was not suitably professional for the job market.

Initially, my anxiety spiked. I was angry that this was a text and not a constructive e-mail. I was worried that he knew I'd missed out on a particular job because of the picture. I was confused - the picture on that website was supposed to be student-facing, so my more casual photo was a deliberate choice. Did it really signal I couldn't be professional?

It turns out there was this chain of people (a colleague of a friend of a friend) who had conveyed that I was a good candidate for a position, but I needed to look like I could interact with their (sometimes more conservative in manner) staff. (That also explained the text - it had to be unofficial information.) So I hurriedly changed the photo. Luckily I'm dressed quite professionally today and work in a place with good cameras.

--

I understand wanting to present oneself professionally. I wonder how you've encountered the pressures of appearances in your job searches and your work:
1. What have you done to groom your digital presence? Does this include trying to control what your organization's website says about you?
2. Have you ever received feedback through a work channel about something you've done online?
3. If prospective or actual employers aren't supposed to look you up, but they do anyway, what if anything can you do?

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DarkOne
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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by DarkOne » Thu Mar 8, 13:54 2018

1. A public, professional digital presence in employer-controlled environment is not a thing in my industry. LinkedIn is about it, and thats fully under our control. These employer-controlled public profiles are commonplace in academia, health services and other service sectors, but not so much in corporate. Probably a liability issue. When I was a grad student, my professor kept a page for each of us and welcomed our input on the content, and I did suggest changes to the content, including a picture re-take purely based on vanity.
EDIT to add: My current employer does require professional profiles on the company's intranet, and we've been directed to clean up pictures and content on that site to remove shennanigans. Most people have complied voluntarily. And most of that content is under our control
2. My online presence is scant. My social media profiles are stingy with details. I actively untagged myself from any photos that showed, erm, less than flattering situations. That's about what the feedback I've received reflects. I've never felt like I was at risk of my online presence being used against me.
3.I'd be surprised to learn of any prospective employer who wasn't supposed to look me up. I would assume they all will. And if I was expecting it I would probably sweep my profile for "customization opportinities", be it additions or deletions.
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rowan
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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by rowan » Thu Mar 8, 14:26 2018

My linkedin literally has me with blue hair, I figure if someone can't accept that about me I dont' want to work with them. This may or may not change as I get more desperate.

Do people ever get professional head shots done?

WRT social media I have it set that I have to actually manually approve any tags of me (like on Facebook or whatever) so nothing shows up that I don't approve.
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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by geldofc » Thu Mar 8, 16:06 2018

Headshot type photos make me gag but fyi I’m a 13-year-old in a 31 yo body sometimes and also kind of unprofessional and very unsuccessful. 🌝 I think my friends look nice in theirs. If I see one on tinder I do vomit though.
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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by Bork » Fri Mar 9, 13:51 2018

rowan wrote:
Thu Mar 8, 14:26 2018
My linkedin literally has me with blue hair, I figure if someone can't accept that about me I dont' want to work with them.
That was my first impression: if you have to change for the environment, is it really going to be a good fit? I guess it depends on how good the opportunity is.


A friend of mine had professional photos done when she got her new job. She's a lawyer and they were for the company's website. I think she also had some one while in law school for something too. I guess it mostly depends on the industry. I'm in clinical research, and I don't think I know of anyone aside from the MDs who've had professional photos done.
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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by Enigma » Sat Mar 10, 15:16 2018

1. I'm semi-concious of what's out there. I try to keep things fairly professional looking. I definitely picked my linkedin picture because I thought it looked professional/smart. When I was actively looking for work I worked pretty hard to make anything visible look as good as I could. Mind you I'm also a person who doesn't dye/cut my hair the way I probably would otherwise now because of professionalism. Which is a choice that has both pros and cons. I have not had professional photos done (but my friend has a decent camera) and my company's website doesn't mention me.

2. No never.

3. I've never heard of any employer not being supposed to look you up. I think it's a fairly common practice.
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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by Plotthickens » Sat Mar 10, 15:56 2018

1. I spent a couple thou on a makeover and headshots.
2. Ohhhhh yes. It's a thing, I worked at Headquarters and had to be The Face that Faces The Public. No likey.
3. Rules are cute, but always assume people will look you up. Use anonymous IPs and every other dirty trick you can get your hands on to keep anything remotely unsavory away from your professional persona. Bleach and then delete Facebook, IG, Twitter, and everything else. Use a password vault to keep everything locked and random. Regularly google, bing, and yahoo yourself and bleach the results.
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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by melsbells » Sun Mar 11, 12:27 2018

I don't have a problem with photos of me out there, but I was denied a job once because of something I wrote about racism five years prior that was published in a small print newsletter. The newsletter decided to try keeping online archives for a short period and my piece fell in that time frame. The employer was still looking to fill the position when someone who knew both of us asked about me, thinking that I was a good candidate, and the reasoning made it's way back to me. At the time I was advised to take it down but I don't know that I want that. The person who did get the position I applied for ended up being miserable and the employer really ruined the business, so maybe it was a good thing, but I wonder if I've lost any other opportunities because of it. And I wonder if any of those are opportunities I would have been okay with if that was a reason I would be passed over.

I probably keep my head down for concern over family member's jobs more than my own prospects. I'm terrified of my politics somehow messing up security clearance for people close to me.

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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by geldofc » Mon Mar 12, 13:31 2018

What the hell. Employers that feel entitled to stalk people and then base their decisions on that are so creepy and unethical imo.
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Sonic#
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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by Sonic# » Mon Mar 12, 14:40 2018

Enigma wrote:I've never heard of any employer not being supposed to look you up. I think it's a fairly common practice.
I admit to some confusion on that basis, and that may vary based on sex or country. One department chair told us that her hiring committees were not allowed to run web searches on candidates, but this was part of advice recommending that people put their websites on their CVs if they want to be found. I've also been told to pay careful attention to web search results and to try to optimize them. So I've heard practices going both ways, which means that my default assumption is that people will search.

I was just surprised that someone could see a fun photo on a client-facing website - no alcohol, no beer, just less than a shirt and tie - and think I couldn't lead staff.
geldofc wrote:If I see one on tinder I do vomit though.
lol, professional headshots on Tinder. Made me think of this.

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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by rowan » Fri Mar 16, 7:44 2018

Honestly it's more likely that someone will not hire me based on my twitter than on my blue hair. tbh if they can't handle my anti-racism tweets then fuck them.
I was just surprised that someone could see a fun photo on a client-facing website - no alcohol, no beer, just less than a shirt and tie - and think I couldn't lead staff.
Yeah that's just weird bullshit
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Re: Professional photos of you online

Post by Nech » Wed Apr 18, 16:53 2018

1. When I first started transitioning and was changing my name, I made my profile a blank picture so that I could at least get my foot in the door. I've also made a lot of my online accounts private due to personal reasons (partners family) and I figured it would work in my favor professionally as well.
2. I haven't luckily.
3. In today's age of tech and info, I don't think there's anything you can really do. If you area has laws against screening for certain demographics (sex, gender, orientation, etc.) and you think you didn't get a position due to that, you may have some recourse. The only other option would be to just erase your online presence as much as possible, but that's pretty tricky and may cause more harm than help.
Where there's smoke, there's fire. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So just shut up, and bring some water.

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