It may seem superficial, but for students their first impression of you is based on your profile photo. It does matter. At least in getting your first booking!

Qualifications, experience, reviews and your GPA matter, yes, but your profile picture is arguably just as, if not more, important. It’s what entices a student to click and find out more about you. With that in mind, here is our guide to what constitutes a good profile photo with examples from LinkedIn.

1. Show your face

It may be tempting to use a photo of your silhouette on top of a mountain from holiday but it’s not appropriate in this context. Your Vygo tutor photo is more LinkedIn than Facebook. It doesn’t have to be ultra formal (no tie necessary) but students want to see your face and, in particular, recognise you when you meet in person. So don’t shy away - show your face. 

2. Fill the frame

Without getting too technical with photography’s “rule of thirds”, experts recommend placing the plane of the eyes in the upper third of the image. This is most applicable to head shots, which include the top of your head to just below your shoulder. 

3. Use a simple, contrasting backdrop

Help your photo stand out in a search by using clean lighting with a background that is in contrast to your complexion or outfit. Good backdrop ideas include greenery, textured walls (including brick, wood and sandstone) and plain coloured backgrounds. 

4. Ask someone else to take the photo

Unless you’re particularly skilled at not making a selfie look like a selfie, find someone you trust to take a photo of you. Show your reference examples of what you want beforehand to help achieve the look you’re after and avoid disappointment. Selfies have their place but not in a professional context. 

5. Smile

Cliche but true! If you want to look approachable to students, smile and use the other elements of the photo (hair, makeup, outfit, quality and backdrop) to communicate professionalism. 

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