Lawrence University helps students get a professional web presence

APPLETON – If the saying is true, then a picture is worth a thousand words, and on social media you hope any pictures of you are saying the right words.

Lawrence University is now helping students ensure that.

Senior Lisa Nikolau’s LinkedIn page just got a makeover.

“Before these headshots were taken mine was just the default icon,” said Nikolau

Nikolau took advantage of a new university career services program. School photographer and new media coordinator Rachel Crowl takes and edits headshots for students to use online for free.

“It’s probably the first time prospective employers or grad schools are actually going to lay eyes on you,” Crowl explained.

So, for a more professional profile such as LinkedIn, a haphazard selfie probably won’t cut it.

“As a general rule: angle’s weird, light’s always bad, you’re not a photographer,” said Crowl.

The photographer told us the profile picture is your chance to make a good first impression.

“Dress nicely, but be yourself too. Try to be appropriate to the kind of thing you want to be doing,” Crowl explained.

University Vice President of Communications Craig Gagnon told us this program is a reminder that what you put online now follows you forever.

“Those party pictures, the comments about employers, that is not something that you want anybody discovering,” said Gagnon.

“Own that Google search and what happens when your name comes up,” added Crowl.

For Nikolau, this photo session is the first step in owning her online identity.

“It’s a small thing, but it’s pretty big in the sense that it’s helping me present myself more professionally,” Nikolau explained.

In three weeks, about one 120 students got portraits.

The university plans to keep the program indefinitely.

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