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How to take the perfect profile pic

The profile picture has become the standard by which we measure ourselves, our colleagues, and even future employees. So how do you make sure it’s perfect?

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perfect profile pic

perfect profile pic

We all have to have a profile pic somewhere

We all know the bathroom selfie is a social taboo and not recommended for anyone over the age of 17, especially if you want to depict yourself as a semi-intelligent human being. However, do we really know the difference that a closed or open smile would make on a potential employer or date? Do we understand the minutia of psychological processes that are involved when we make instant judgments based on appearance?

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The key to having a profile picture that stands out from the rest, one that will astound, amaze, and get you that job at Google (not really, but it helps to dream big), is all in the details. An immense amount of scientific research is available on the psychological effects of having a poor or an excellent profile pic, and it helps to know objectively how your pic holds up to scrutiny.

Is your profile pic conveying what you want it to?

According to a study reported by the journal Psychological Science, it only takes 40 milliseconds to draw a conclusion about a person based on their photo, which is about how long it takes to snap your fingers. This makes sense, especially because, the phrase, “making a snap judgement,” is used so much by our society.

Photofeeler, a great app to help you get feedback about your profile pic via real people voting on your picture, conducted a study that examined over 800 photos, which rated them on three attributes: likeability, influence, and competence.

What they found might be interesting to you, and it might also help you on your way to becoming a top influencer on your LinkedIn profile. Or it may just get you a few more likes when you post a new selfie. The outcome is up to you.

Squinch your eyes, wear a gray suit

The study concentrated on five areas of the profile pic’s composition: eyes, face, body position, setting, and editing, and focused on three attributes; likeability, competence, and influence.

Eyes were perceived the best when squinching, correlating positive increases in all areas. Wearing sunglasses decreased likeability, and obstructing the eyes led to decreases in competence and influence.

Smiling open mouthed while showing teeth, or smiling while laughing showed the greatest increase in likability among all areas.

Wearing a dark gray suit with a neutral background had the most positive correlation with influence, and competence, and no real increase with likeability.

Also, don’t bother with those Instagram filters, because they actually decreased competency, and likeability, and if you are a photographer, or an enthusiast, then you might find that using the rule of thirds is the best approach when taking a profile picture, and showing head and shoulders (not the dandruff shampoo), had the most beguiling effect as opposed to full headshots or body shots.

Time to update your profile pic?

Profile pictures are signposts for our digital personas, and it’s probably one of the most important elements we can have that give a visual impression of our human side.

The importance of having a great profile picture; can’t be understated. Either if it’s for your personal or professional life, your profile pic is something that should be not overlooked.

I think I am going to go change my linked in profile picture now.

#ProfilePic

John Linneman is a Portland, Oregon native who owns and operates small digital marketing business. He went to school at Portland State where he studied business, and writing. He majored in writing and theater at PSU, and still holds these things true, but has since moved on and transferred his talents to the business, and marketing world. Connect with him on Twitter or on his blog.

Real Estate

7 ways your body language can make people want to know you

Better believe it, 55 percent of communication relies on body language – are you saying what you want to say? Here are 7 ways to make an impression.

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body language

Let your body do the talking

Have you ever gotten the prickly suspension that someone didn’t care much for you and couldn’t figure out why? It was likely their body speaking to you.

Learning to understand and use body language can help you capture and attain positive attention.

Grasping the impact of even some of the smallest gestures can be the key to understanding a new companion or putting your best foot forward when meeting others.

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Here are seven ways your body can speak positively without your mouth saying a word.

1. Like an old companion

Upon meeting someone new the best thing you can do is to remain calm and confident. The best way make your body appear relaxed is to treat your new acquaintance like an old friend. Your body will automatically loosen and soften.

2. Greet THEN smile

Your smile is a powerful force, one that you should be keenly aware of. Instead of meeting new acquaintances with a smile immediately, hold back until you’ve had a moment to look over the person’s face. They’ll believe the grin was meant for them and perceive you in a more positive light.

3. Angle your body

During a greeting, be certain to point your body toward the person completely. This will confirm that they have your undivided attention.

4. Forget the fidgeting

Keep the frequency of squirming and fidgeting to a minimum. For many this is difficult to do while you’re holding a continuous gaze. However, you might considerate counting the amount of times your speaker blinks. It will help you focus on something other than how much you want to wiggle. Plus, in various studies, participates who did this trick were perceived more fondly than their peers. Just remember to focus on what they’re saying too!

5. Perfect posture

Think about keeping your head up, with your chin at a 90-degree angle from your neck. Keep your body erect, as if someone is pulling at your puppet strings!

6. Continuous eye contact

After an initial meeting, a person’s eye contact is imperative. Don’t break eye contact until the person is finished speaking. When you do, do it ever so slowly.

7. Scanning

As mentioned above, continuous eye contact is important, but if there is someone of specific interest within a group, make certain to scan back to that person when there are conversational cues that might provoke a response or reaction. Caution: Be careful to use this one correctly. Otherwise, you might just look like you’re staring. We want to invoke a positive response, not a creepy one!

Use these body language tips the next time you meet someone new and interesting, and they’ll want to know you right away!

#BodyLanguage

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Real Estate

Surprising facts on the state of technology: are wearables really all that?

(Tech News) With all the talk about wearable technologies, one would think more and more people are jumping on board the trend, but are they?

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wearables

Let’s talk about that wearable bandwagon

Wearable technology seems to be the latest buzz, but how many people have actually jumped on the bandwagon? Apple’s recently launched smartwatch was the latest addition to wearable tech gadgets. While it drew significant interest, recent research by GlobalWebIndex suggests that most adults are not partaking in the wearable technology trend.

GlobalWebIndex surveyed 170,000 adults, across 32 markets and only 9 percent report owning a smartwatch and a mere 7 percent own smart wristbands. This is in heavy contrast to the 80 percent of adult who own a smartphone.

While smartphone ownership has reached an all-time high, according to the survey, it has yet to overtake the 91 percent of people who current use PCs to access the Internet. A surprising fact of the research: only 47 percent of those surveyed use a tablet. Personally, I would have though tablet use would be more heavy than this figure.

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One particularly interesting point in the GWI survey is in regards to VPNs. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are increasing in popularity. The rise of restrictive firewalls in some markets has led to their necessity. VPNs allow you to appear on the Internet as if you were somewhere else than your actual location.

Most users are not searching for apps…

According to GWI, 27 percent of survey takers said they had used a VPN at some point. While using a VPN, the most highly accessed service is Google Play. It seems a bit surprising, perhaps, but most of these users are not searching for apps, but rather audio and video gaming content. A close second to Google Play, is the iTunes store.

Mobile Internet use is also on the rise. GWI states that 75 percent of smartphone users are accessing mobile Internet services on their smartphones with the average amount of time spent browsing coming in around 1.85 hours. This is quite an increase from the 40 minutes spend in 2012. Some markets are seeing PCs being replaced by phones, so it makes sense that their mobile devices are seeing more usage.

So what does this mean for you?

This may change the way you develop your content. Pages that display beautifully on a PC, may not do so on mobile devices. With more and more people using Internet on-the-go, it may change the way content is displayed as well as consumed.

Additionally, while wearable technology may be trendy, it doesn’t seem as though everyone is on board (yet), so it may be prudent for developers to wait a bit before taking the plunge into that particular marketplace.

#wearables

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Real Estate

What does your workspace tell others about you?

(Business) Does your choice of knick knacks and wall color in your office portray you in a positive or negative light? You should know since others are judging you.

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decluttered

Your workspace tells others loads about you

You already know that some people are cluttered desk types and others are super organized, but did you know that many other factors of your workspace is telegraphing your personality to colleagues and clients that visit your desk?

RealBusiness.com asked Helene Segura, a certified professional organizer, and Linda Samuels, president of the Institute for Challengeing Disorganization, to explain the different workspace characteristics.

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Is your desk portraying you as a procrastinator or not serious about work? Let’s take a look at what your workspace is saying about you.

Clutter and knick knacks

Clutter of boxes and paper is said to portray you as a procrastinator who delays decisions and actions, according to Real Business. Further, knick knacks on your desk mean you’re a kinesthetic person who functions best with touch, but beware – too many knick knacks on your desk could mean you’re not serious about work.

Smelling good, staying clean

What does a completely empty room mean? It can mean that you are efficiant and hyper-organized, or maybe you don’t have enough work to do, the experts state. We would add that a lack of decor is typically known to indicate a worker is not committed to their job.

The results note that scented objects mean you believe in aromatherapy (which is pretty vague and we disagree, but we digress), and should be mindful of coworkers’ allergies.

Photos and inspirational quotes

Photos of friends and family indicate ou have a life outside of work, but industry experts say placing too many may distract you from your job. For those of you who have inspirational quotes on the walls, you’re telegraphing that you’re a visual learner, so cues and reminders help you to stay motivated.

Noise and color

If you’re someone who needs music while working, you concentrate best when blocking others out. Experts note that color choices express personality traits, as blue, green, and neutrals are calming (so perhaps you are a calm type), while yellow is energizing.

The bottom line

While we’re not exactly sold that having a red wall means you’re a hungry personality (you may just be an Arkansas fan), or that smelly candles indicate a deep belief in the curing qualities of lavender (you might have stinky feet), or that clutter means you procrastinate, it is important to note that you’re being judged by your desk whether those judgments are accurate or not. That’s the real reason you should know what it seems you are saying with the state of your desk – what are you telling your boss or clients?

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