Don’t Over-Photoshop Your Image!

Female modelAs I was thumbing through a magazine, I happened upon an ad for a new product. It was being promoted by a famous actress who, in my opinion, is very glamorous.

But what made me hover over this ad wasn’t what was being sold or the person enticing me to buy, it was how perfect she looked. Flawless, actually. So flawless that it detracted from her beauty. Her face, so absolutely smooth, was devoid of character, of personality, of life.

Curious now, I scrutinized the ad to see how far this obsession with PhotoShop was taken. Her one hand was curved up, and there again, it was obvious that it had been touched up. There were no slight veins, no natural patterning to her skin, not even much in the way of lining around the knuckles of her nearly-straightened fingers. It actually looked like the hand of a mannequin.

When you are promoting yourself in your application materials, in interviews, and while networking, you want to put your best foot forward by showing what you have done and outlining how your skills are transferable to other situations. However, do you go so far as to do what I call “photoshopping your image” to try to make yourself the perfect candidate?

That is a big mistake.

Companies are not looking for perfection in candidates because they know that kind of ideal is not attainable. If you come across as someone who is too perfect, it raises red flags about what you may be hiding or what you could be falsifying on your résumé. If they are in doubt of your honesty at this point, why would they hire you?

Instead, work toward being authentic. You know you’ve made mistakes — we all have — so embrace them and show how those situations contained lessons that have helped you grow professionally.

Also, let who you are shine through! Part of what will constitute a good fit for both you and the company is the culture. If you try to be someone you are not just to get the job, there may be a false match and you could end up being miserable there.

Are you over-photoshopping your image on your job search?

Photo courtesy of alainelorza

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