Are you thinking about the photo you send with your emails?

Gmail is one of the most popular email services out there today. In fact, if you're using an antiquated email address like or, I urge you to create a Gmail account that's reserved for your job search and networking activities. Working through an outdated email provider will give the impression that you're not up to date on the latest technologies, which reflects badly on you as a professional and should be avoided.

That said, there is something to be aware of when it comes to your Gmail account. Every time you send an email, whether it's to a friend or a prospective employer, your profile photo is included in the message.

Whilst you have the option to leave this blank, I advise against it. Leaving out a photo means that you miss out on an opportunity to show who you are. A photo can make you appear more personable, and putting a face to the name will help your email recipients to feel more connected to you. This is especially important when applying for jobs, because an HR manager will see you as a person instead of one more candidate on the list of hundreds.

Your best option is to use a professional-looking photo that reinforces your personal brand. Ideally, this should be the same photo you're using for your other professional online profiles, like LinkedIn, to create consistency.

When choosing your profile picture, opt for a standard headshot that supports your brand and portrays you as professional and friendly. Avoid using a group shot, an awkward selfie or (my favourite) a cropped image where half of your hair is cut out. To avoid the image looking blurry, select a photo that's 250 x 250 pixels or larger.

To upload or change your Gmail profile picture, follow the steps below, courtesy of Gmail's Help Center:

    1. From your Gmail inbox, click the circle for a profile picture in the top right.

    2. Click Manage your Google Account.

    3. On the left of your Google Account page, click Personal info.

    4. Under Profile, click the row labelled PHOTO.

    5. Follow the on-screen prompts to choose or take a photo.

    6. Click Select Profile Photo to complete.

Make sure your CV supports your personal brand. Get a free CV review from TopCV today.

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