If a picture’s worth a thousand words, what does your Sittercity profile photo say about you?

Your profile photo is your first impression to parents on the site, which is why it’s considered a big part of the hiring process. Sometimes we reject profile photos because we can’t see your face well enough or they are inappropriate. Below we outline some tips to make sure you have a photo that will enhance your credibility with parents and improve your chances of getting hired.

1) Show your face

Parents are looking to make an instant connection with you. After all, you could be the person caring for their children, the most important people in the world to them. So they need to be able to see you.

Show your entire face and make sure you’re the focus of the photo. You can’t go wrong with a clear, clean shot of your smiling face. The friendlier you are, the more likely they will want to learn more about you!

2) Take off your sunglasses

Big sunglasses are in, but your profile picture is not the appropriate place to wear them. It’s hard to get to know someone if they hide their face behind sunglasses.

This goes back to our first point: Show your face — your entire, smiling face! Keep your sunglasses on hand for the sunny day when you take the kids to the park, but keep them off your profile photo.

3) Hats are cool, just not in your profile photo

Hats can obstruct part of your face or create a shadow that makes it hard to see you. Again, parents want to be able to look at your photo and have an instant connection with you. Anything that obstructs some or all of your face will make that difficult.

4) Avoid group shots

You may love that group shot of you and your best girlfriends (we’re sure you look fab), but it’s best to keep that photo in a picture frame instead of using it as your profile photo.

Group shots make it too hard to tell which one you are, and that will end up leaving care seekers confused and possibly frustrated. If the best photo of your smiling face is a group shot, you can also use free online photo editing software to crop yourself out of the photo.

5) Save the cute puppy photos for Facebook

We love a cute puppy photo as much as the next person, we just don’t want to see it as your profile picture. (We want to see you!) Same goes for photos of children, food, scenery, etc.

You’re welcome to use a photo that has both you AND children in it — just make sure that you have their parents’ permission.

6) Keep it professional

Nothing screams “I don’t take this job seriously” more than a risqué or revealing picture. Keep it clean, folks. If you wouldn’t wear it to a job interview, don’t wear it in your profile photo. Also, be sure the photo is in focus, and not taken in a strange setting (bathroom selfies are definitely a no-go).

If you’re unsure about the appropriateness of a photo, use the “front page test.” Would you be comfortable with your grandma seeing the photo on the front page of a major newspaper? No? Then take it down and find another.

If you don’t have an appropriate photo, ask a friend or family member to take one of you. All you need is a blank wall, a smartphone, and your wonderful smile! You can email the picture to yourself, download it on your computer, then upload it to your Sittercity profile.