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Is Your Profile Picture Hurting Your Job Search?

Stephanie St. Martin
June 27, 2018

7 tips on what types of photos can help you get a job.

Whether your picture was rejected from Care.com or families aren't responding to your job applications, it might be due to a bad picture. Didn't bother to upload a photo? It's likely families skip right over your profile -- it's that important.

Did you know that caregivers with photos in their profile are eight times more likely to be contacted by families?

Take the time to add a photo that makes people want to hire you. On Care.com, you can upload one large main photo and five smaller additional ones that help tell your story. Here are seven qualities to look for in a great photo:

  1. Memorable
    Families have said it: They do look at the profile picture and consider it as part of the hiring process. They're looking to connect with you immediately and get a sense of your personality. You should think of your picture as your online "first impression." You want to pick a happy and memorable picture of you.

  2. Professional
    No, we don't mean it was taken by a professional. Use a shot that you would put on a job application, not a dating website or Facebook profile page. You don't want anything that's provocative, reveals too much skin or looks like you're unprofessional. You don't want anything that you took in a car or another strange setting. Choose a photo that you would put on LinkedIn or be comfortable giving your boss. Remember: When parents scan their inbox of job responses, they're looking for someone they can trust with their most important possessions: their kids and their home. You want your picture to show maturity and trustworthiness.

  3. Clear
    You'd be surprised by the number of fuzzy shots we see. Or pictures that were clearly taken by the provider holding the camera at arm's length (often in the car). Ask a friend to take your picture, using a camera with a good resolution. Face the camera and look straight at the lens. Don't wear sunglasses or hide your face in anyway. The picture should connect with the parent and hiding your face makes it seem like you have something to hide.

  4. Solo
    Don't upload a shot of you and any friends or family members -- especially for your main photo. It's too confusing which person you are. If you love the shot, try to crop your friend out, but if it's not possible, take a new picture. If this photo is one of your additional pictures on your profile page, just make sure it's clear which person you are.

  5. Kid-Free
    We get it. You're looking for a babysitting job, so what's better than a photo with kids? Unfortunately, any photos with kids need permission from the parents. Most of the time, a photo of you with a child cannot be accepted because we don't have permission from the family to have the children on our site. If you do want to use a photo with kids you nanny for, have the family call Care.com so we can get permission from them. (Note: If you're a family looking to hire a babysitter or a nanny, you can post picture of your kids on the profile page -- because they're your children.)

  6. Pet-Secondary
    Animal lovers love to show off their pets -- and we love to see them. But your main profile picture shouldn't simply be a picture of your four-legged friend. People aren't hiring your pet -- they're hiring you! Make sure you're the focus of the photo. Feel free to include pictures of your expert pet care skills in action as secondary shots.  Pet cameos are great!  Just make sure you check with the pet parents if they aren't your fur babies. 

  7. Un-Photoshopped
    We all love photos with fun borders and creative effects. But on Care.com, strange formatting makes it hard for us to see you. Don't use any photos where the picture is cut-off or cropped. And no scenic shots. We love that view from Italy, but if you aren't in the photo, we can't allow it to be on the site.

At the end of the day, your profile picture needs to be appropriate and professional. By having a great photo, families don't have a reason to "skip over you" and will take the time to read how awesome you are. So take the time to make a great first impression and get a profile picture that rocks!

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