With a good application photo, an applicant can make a serious and competent impression before the first encounter with the interviewer. Though it is no longer obligatory to include a picture as part of your application package, it can help put a face behind your name. The interviewer can derive an impression through a picture and correlate your personality with the data from the rest of your application. In order for the photo to prove beneficial, however, some basic errors should be avoided.

Full body pictures

In most professions, it is not important to present your entire physique in a picture. The traditional half-portrait is sufficient.

Wrong clothes

Wear appropriate business clothes while taking your portrait. The clothing should be clean and wrinkle-free. Your clothing should also fit the job you are applying to. A conservative appearance is appropriate in most cases and somewhat relaxed in professions that demand creativity.

Too much jewellery & makeup

Strong colours, too much contrast and lush jewellery appear obtrusive in portraits; they do not make a serious impression. Make-up should be discreet and natural.

Wrong hair style

Your hair should be combed and business-like. If required, get a hair cut before taking your picture. Women with long hair should also comb their hair before taking a professional photo; open hair often does not look as competent as combed hair.

No eye contact

The eye contact in the photo is important to connect with the viewer.

Closed smile

Whoever smiles with closed lips runs the risk of appearing shy and closed. Depending on the occupation, a serious and determined smile is in order. However, you should not come across as feeling bored.

Restless background

Poorly chosen background designs often look like a sloppy snapshot rather than a professional photo.

Size and format

Standard formats for professional photos are 6×4 and 9×6 cm. The portrait format is well suited for most scenarios. The cross-format can also be selected for other scenarios.

As a rule of thumb, the profile photo should not be older than two years.