The New SCN: Six Tips For Your Profile Picture
What’s the best part of the SAP Community Network (SCN)? That’s nearly impossible to answer. It’s incredibly vibrant and intellectually powerful, yet it’s collegial and supportive. SCN is also 24 hours per day, every single day of the year, and our members comprise just about every geographic and demographic category one could think of. Yet we rarely, if ever, see one another. While some of us connect offline at events and informal gatherings, most of us will never have a chance to meet any other members. In fact, we’ll likely never even set our eyes upon another member.
Fortunately that will change with the launch of the new SCN. As we’ve said during the migration processs, we’re moving from being a Web site to being a true online community. And as part of that, we’re going to take advantage of some community tools on our new platform that will actually allow us to engage, communicate, and yes, actually see other members.
The first step in doing this is to let us see you. And we want you to see us! One easy, but very notable, new feature in the new SCN is the ability to upload a picture of yourself to your personal profile, and we want you to add your picture as soon as possible after the site launches. Imagine the difference it will make when, while perusing content and discussions, you’ll be seeing the beautiful faces of your fellow members – I truly think it’s going to make your connection to SCN even tighter and more meaningful than it already is.
There are a lot of of different ways to present yourself to your colleagues. You may be inclined to use a picture of Gandalf the Grey when in fact you look more like Jason Segel. Both are indeed dashingly handsome, but we really want to see you, the REAL YOU! With that in mind, we want to share some tips from our friend Roz Usheroff, who provides some wonderful tips for using a headshot in an effective way. Her thinking is that, as visual creatures, we rely heavily on images to help us form impressions of others; that’s just the nature of living and working among friends and colleagues. She provides six tips that will help you put your best foot forward with your profile image (these are taken directly from an article in one of her recent newsletters, “Six Tips to Hitting a Home Run with your LinkedIn and Facebook Photo”):
- Have one: The people at LinkedIn say that profiles with photographs are seven times as likely to be viewed as those without. Think about it. Why would a potential employer read your profile if your picture is missing in action when they can click on your competent competitor who has a high-energy picture, complete with a scintillating smile? By the way, cartoonish avatar images don’t count as a profile picture.
- Full face forward: Look full-faced into the camera and take the shot. Show us your spark, your integrity and your warmth. Think about someone or something you like as the shutter clicks, and let the pleasure and energy of life fill you up; relax and breathe. Please don’t commit the following head-shot sins in your profile picture.
- Wear sunglasses
- Turn your head to the side
- Gaze off into the distance like Galileo contemplating the wonders of the cosmos
- Have another person in the shot with you
- Have another part of a person in the shot with you — such as a hand, arm or shoulder
- This isn’t Match.com: Save the cleavage, come-hither stares and full-body shots for times when you’re looking to connect over cocktails — not in a corporate setting. While you might get asked out on a date, you probably won’t get the contract.
- Be current: As much as you may like the way you looked in that snazzy photo taken a decade ago, it’s probably out of date. To minimize the shock and awe when you show up in person, keep your profile photos relatively current and minimize the airbrushing. When you do connect with clients in meet space, surprise, confusion and embarrassment won’t be the first emotions you inspire.
- Beware of body language: The small body language details of your profile photo speak volumes. For example: Don’t tilt your head unless you want visitors to think, quizzical dog. Don’t cross your arms across your body unless you’re meaning to give off a feeling that says, stay away. And please don’t cup your face in your hands or prop your chin on your fist. That is so over; trust me.
- Skip the dogs and babies: As much as we love dogs, babies and the supersize salmon you caught on vacation, they don’t belong in your profile picture. This is a chance for people to get a sense of you — just glorious you. Stand tall, stand proud and stand alone.
As Roz says, “Remember, we do business with people we like and trust. Seeing your face and making direct eye contact with you — even in a photograph — builds ease and confidence.”
Note: Thank you to Roz Usheroff and Jan Giffin for the inspiration, and for letting us refer to your great article.