Your Headshot is one, if not, the most important element on your LinkedIn profile. A good first impression, encourages the reader to view your the rest of your profile. Research has shown, that your profile has a much higher chance of being viewed, by simply having a good profile photo. As a Professional Headshot Photographer specialising in Corporate Headshots, I have a learnt a few things along my journey, and one of those, is how to create a strong LinkedIn profile photo.
Invest in a professional headshot, you wont go wrong
Most importantly, have an actual photo! No one will take you seriously, if you use the default avatar as your profile pic. Hire a Professional to do your Headshot….its worth it! A professional knows the correct lighting setups to get that right angle of you, they (should) know how to coach you, and get that “perfect Expression”, advise you on wardrobe, and even provide a make up artist, if necessary. People can tell if you have posted a “selfie” or cropped yourself out of a group photo…it is so easy to tell . If you are on LinkedIn, you are a professional, and take your personal brand seriously, why then post an unprofessional photo of yourself?
Does your photo actually look like you?
Whenever I am meeting a client, or potential client for the first time, I always google them, or look them up on LinkedIn first, mainly, so I can recognise them…..If your photo isnt current, or no longer looks like you, how are people to recognise you? More importantly, what does an outdated photo of yourself, say about your credibility, self confidence and even your attention to detail, or appearance?
Fill the frame!
Nobody cares about your expensive blouse, or silk tie, and arent bothered about what the top of your head looks like. We know what is supposed to be there. If a prospective employer, or head hunter, is busy scrolling through hundreds of online C.V’s, or searching for you onliine, they arent going to recognise you from your photo, where you climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. Crop your photo tightly! Let 85% of the image be filled with your headshot. It should be just below the shoulders, to no higher than above your head. When I am shooting headshots, unless a client specifically asks me not to, I always crop the top of the head.
Whats the right expression for your audience?
When choosing your photo for your profile, remember the audience you are targeting. Are you in the market for a new job? Are you looking at conveying confidence, friendliness and trustworthiness to potential clients that you are networking with? Are you going to use the same photo for a online dating service? These are all important considerations when posing for your headshot. It is important for the photographer to know where, and for what reason you are having headshots taken. That way, they will know how to bring out the right expression.
Wear the right attire!
A bright floral T shirt is great…..IF, you are a Dot Com owner, or a Graphic designer, but not necessarily for the corporate sector. Suits and ties, are great for the financial/ banking industry, but not for a project manager. See where I am going with this? Wear something appropriate to your industry, or something others in your industry wear. For ladies, this is a lot easier to pull off! If you are concerned about under/ over dressing, dress up rather! It never hurt anyone to look like James Bond. In addition (men especially) it never hurt to shave before having your headshot session, or having clean, wrinkle free clothes on the day.
What background is best?
Unless you are specifically looking for a Cinematic Headshot, which is trending right now, or a Corporate Portrait, choose a background that is neutral and plain. Black, white and Grey backgrounds, are the most popular, with white being the most versatile. (A white background is the most versatile, as it blends in to most social media and website backgrounds) A word of caution: Stay away from busy and multi coloured backgrounds, unless its part of your corporate identity
If you have read this article, you now know what to do …update your LinkedIn photo with these pointers in mind, then find a good photographer that specialises in Headshots and update your profile photo. If you cant find someone, give the Headshot guys a call, we’ll sort you out!