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An image can tell more than a hundred words – a cliché repeated till boredom, but still, we often ignore the truth behind it when choosing our profile pictures on social media sites. However, we can be sure that our future employers will not ignore them!

Our potential employers, for example, form opinions about us without knowing it, moreover, they might even make up their minds about our personalities based on one single picture. What does an image say about us?


According to a survey, one fifth of the people in HR jobs have already rejected an application of a potential employee, because they found something on the internet that did not show the candidate in a positive light. Only one picture and we might win or lose the whole game. And it is not the rigidity of the people in HR to be blamed for this, but evolution. It is simply coded in our genes to draw conclusions from face mimics, posture and clothing without really meaning to.


The answer of a stranger might be stranger than you thought!


This is supported by the research carried out by the Sonoma National University. In the study, 12 observers had to describe 123 university students unknown to them according to given categories. On the list, some of the important points according to which they had to be scored were extrovertedness, lovability, consciousness, emotional stability, openness, kindness, self-esteem, loneliness, religiousness and political views. Two pictures were taken of each student: in one, the researchers told them which pose to make and in the other one, they were free to decide what pose to be in. After this, the observers were divided into two groups; one group had to describe the students based on the artificial poses and the other had to give scores based on the spontaneous poses. Based on the artificial pose, the observers were only right in two categories (extrovertedness and self-esteem). However, with the help of the spontaneous, dynamic picture that also carried non-verbal signs, the participants got nine out of the ten categories right (all of them except for the political views). Based on the results, it is obvious that just from a picture, a stranger knows more about us then we would believe!


Faces and images


Our pictures constitute parts of our image. They create a notion and an opinion about us, or rather, about what other people think about us. Using this knowledge, it is important to consciously choose a picture that really reflects what we can acknowledge as our own. By answering the following easy questions you can decide whether you picked the right picture:


1. Am I visible in the picture?


If the answer is no: Most of these pictures suggest insecurity: those who choose pictures like this are not sure of themselves. If you do not have a good reason for hiding (e.g. your job is with CIA), you had better choose a picture in which you can be seen.


2. Am I recognizable in the picture?


If the answer is no: Go to question number 1.


3. Would you go out onto the streets on a normal day in the clothes you are wearing in the picture?


If the answer is no, then why would you want to represent yourself like this in virtual space?

If your answer is yes to all the three questions, then you have no reason to worry. You can continue regarding your profile picture as a means that helps steer public opinion in the right direction.


Molnár Judit


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Published: Wed, 16/04/2014 - 22:22

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