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Lauren Bacho

Fully Focused: Profile pictures might prevent you from getting hired

Columnist Lauren Bacho discusses the worst kinds of photos to to use as profile pictures on social media.

Social media is becoming more and more prominent in the professional world and lots of employers are looking at it to gage whether or not you should be hired. I am very aware that most people don’t use their Twitter or Instagram for job related purposes but when it comes down to it, your future boss is still going to see your accounts. Obviously the easiest way to avoid people seeing your super secret life on social media is to make your account private, however, your profile picture isn’t hidden from the public.

People often forget about that tiny little icon on Instagram because if your account is private the people trying to follow you most likely already know you. What you don’t realize is that tiny icon gets blown up when you open Instagram online and everyone can see exactly what’s in your photo. You might want to consider changing out that photo of you from 14Fest where you look trashed for something that doesn’t represent your drinking habits.

It’s even easier to get a closer look at your Twitter profile picture. I suggest taking down that mirror selfie, it makes you look like you’re stuck in 2006. The front camera was created for a reason people, read my column from last week and use it. However, when it comes to selfies as a profile picture, make sure you look normal. I don’t know why this is still prevalent, but for the love of God DO NOT make the duck face. Just smile and look like a normal human.

Also, blurring out your beer can is not inconspicuous. Everybody knows you’re holding a can of natty light and making it blurry doesn’t hide it. Poorly photoshopping a Pepsi logo over your beer is also not believable. I have no idea why people thing that’s clever or funny but it just makes you look stupid.

I think what people forget is that even if you are at or above the drinking age, employers still don’t look highly on binge drinkers. If someone Googles you and your Twitter and Instagram show up right away, both with profile photos that you’re obviously incapacitated in or you’re holding a drink, you’re probably not going to get the job you’re apply for.

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I know I definitely wouldn’t hire you if you had a mirror picture selfie as one of your profile photos. If you can’t take the time to take a proper selfie or get one of your friends to take a picture of you then you’re clearly not going to put in the effort at work. Since everyone puts so much time and effort into social media these days, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a good profile picture. I know I spend way more time on the Internet than I do on school work and from what I have observed in my classes so does everyone else.

I’m only going to briefly touch on Facebook since nobody uses that anymore except for old people. As long as your Facebook profile picture has you in it and doesn’t commit any of the profile pic crimes listed above you’re probably fine.

So do yourself a favor and change your profile picture on Twitter and Instagram. You might actually get an internship this summer or get a job when you graduate if you don’t look like a complete idiot.

Lauren Bacho is a sophomore studying photojournalism and a photo editor for The Post. Do you think employers look at your social media accounts? Tweet her @Visual_Bacho or email her at

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