Facebook profile pictures that will and won’t get you a job in the city

Don’t wear sunglasses, don’t look weak

It’s obvious that employers are going to go through your social media once you apply for a job. Changing your name on Facebook is a complete waste of time. They will find you through your email so you’d better be prepared when they come.

An economics professor, Dr. Stijn Baert ran an experiment where fictional candidates applied for a range of real finance jobs. Their applications were identical apart from their Facebook profile pictures. He found that those with the most “beneficial” pictures were more likely to get an interview.

It’s all about positive body language – not crossing your arms or hiding your face. Smiling and looking positive also makes you look like a fun person to work with. Weirdly enough another tip is to wear blue and stay away from green or darker colours.

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Apparently this is the very best photo to get you a job at a bank or finance firm

It seems squinting into the distance, half smiling in front of an ambiguous backdrop is the best way to get to the next stage of the application. Candidates using the above photo were by far the most likely to get a call back as it got 39 per cent more interview invitations.

The science behind this suggests it’s good because it will make you look attractive, extroverted, agreeable, emotionally stable and open.

According to the professor, the only downside it makes you look a bit too relaxed. Maybe this could be fixed up with a smarter shirt or more professional backdrop. Just don’t ever wear braces.

Hand gestures can work


Strangely enough, putting your thumbs up seems to be a way to show you care about seeing a job through, scoring top marks for conscientiousness.

On the downside the imaginary candidate looks a bit more posed, meaning she scores less highly for being an extrovert and somehow looks slightly less agreeable. The obvious flat background probably doesn’t help either.

Use thumbs up and hand gestures with caution.

Never look moody


This is a sin in the finance application world. Body language is everything, and without good posture you’re nothing. In this he is hunched over, arms covering his body and is wearing sunglasses which hide his eyes.

He is wearing a flash of blue in there though, which has to work in his favour.

Apparently this reflects badly on all of your personality traits and will get you nearly half as few interview invitations.

Don’t look too drunk


This is probably a bit of an obvious one, but don’t pose with a bottle of wine or a pint. Even brandishing a bottle of Dom will get you looked on unfavourably.

The posture here is pretty good, the clothes are nice but the wine, empty bottles on the tables and slightly flustered expression are a big turn off for recruiters.

Avoid looking like a socialist


Banking is capitalism. Capitalism is banking. If a recruiter spots you at a rally or a demo doing anything other than being spat at for earning more money than everybody else it’s going to set off alarm bells.

The posture here is all wrong and a “No more Austerity” sign can visibly be seen in the background. Leave it out.