In this day and age we all live with our phones in our pockets and our head in ‘the cloud’. Most people catch up with what is going on in the world through the internet and various apps. Whether it’s through Facebook, LinkedIn, Flipboard or an online newspaper, we all use the web to discover news and information.
And it’s no different when you apply for a job. The likelihood is you will see the advert online, you will apply for it online and you will be asked to upload your profile picture, resume and covering letter online. Having all these to hand is key to your success, but are there any other factors that influence an employers decision to give you an interview for a job? The reality is that most employers and employment agencies will research you online, taking a peek at your online profiles and drawing conclusions about your ‘personal brand’.
A recent study has suggested that having an impressive profile picture on your social media sites might increase your chances of getting a job. The research conducted by Ghent University in Belgium discovered that employers worldwide have very limited information when they make their first selection of applicants for job vacancies. So a potential source of information is social networking websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
The study set up fictitious applications to real jobs with differing Facebook profiles and then watched the results. The candidate with the most favourable facebook profile picture received approximately 21 per cent more positive responses compared to the candidate with the least favourable profile picture. The probability of getting an immediate invitation to a job interview even differed by almost 40 per cent.
These stats are fairly outstanding and just prove that having that all-important profile picture can be the difference between getting an interview or not. So the next time you are on Facebook take a look at what image you are portraying and whether it’s appropriate or not.
If the answer is no, then don’t spend time searching for a new image, make sure you engage a professional photographer – it’s not expensive and it might just get you that pay increase you’re after!