What do you think is the biggest factor on your LinkedIn profile that will determine if you get the full-time job of your dreams?
It’s your profile picture.
That’s how important your LinkedIn photo really is. Your profile photo sets the “tone” for your entire LinkedIn profile . As we see more and more, your LinkedIn profile is actually taking the place of your resume. People, especially hiring managers and recruiter, make a snap decision about you in the first couple of seconds when looking at your profile. You photo and what it says about you therefore, have a huge impact. Not taking your photo serioysly can damage your career going forward. It’s all about the psychology of how people perceive you and your personal brand, and how that can influence people. If you’re interested, you can read more about the science behind this here: How we gain and lose influence.
The bottom line is you want to follow the tips below to make a positive impact on people reviewing your profile so that you build your authority, influence and trust. The first stepo in doing this and one of the fundamental building blocks is making sure your LinkedIn Profile is as good as possible.
So does your profile make the cut? Find out here, and if it doesn’t, learn all you need about what to change to get that cell ringing.
The Traits of an Eye-Catching LinkedIn Photo
It takes more than a smile and casual pose to capture a hiring manager’s eye. When updating your own LinkedIn picture, keep these handy tips in mind.
Your photo is an opportunity to show off your personal brand. A good personal brand is memorable, reflecting the “person you are and the person you strive to be.”
Be careful not to confuse this with your personality; you can be a ball of chaotic creativity with a photo that implies tact and organization if that’s how you handle business.
Consider what you stand for and how you approach your work ethic. These can fuel ideas for pictures.
An artist, for instance, could have paint smeared across her smiling face or she could have a clean visage with a half-done portrait in the background. Both capture different aspects of the individual and demonstrate very different approaches to business.
Either works. It just depends on what you bring to the job.
It’s important to show what traits you can offer a company, but it’s just as significant to demonstrate a bit of personality.
If you’re an extrovert, consider an energetic pose. If you’re organized and quiet, be neat and prim.
The clothes and the pose here say more than you know about your unique self.
In a 2009 study, scientists discovered that expressive poses create a more distinct impression of identity as opposed to neutral ones. When asked to rate individuals’ characteristics based on photographs, viewers successfully matched 9 of the 10 traits to the expressive poser’s self-rating.
Photographer Josh D. Smith also told Entrepreneur, “Don’t forget to smile. Nobody likes a sourpuss.”
The example of the artist is a prime sample of what can be done with your photo’s background.
Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t have to suffer an asthma attack for that outside LinkedIn picture or stand in front of a dull backdrop to look professional or get some color into the image.
Be creative. Do what’s natural for you and what will show off the strengths in your line of work.
Co-Owner and Principal Photographer Mark Liflander states, “Sometimes it’s easier to look confident and professional in an environmental portrait that relates to your business. The environmental portrait shows you in your element.”
4. Full Face
Do you remember the neighbor in Home Improvement? The one who was always peering from behind the fence?
Or how about Agent Smith with his sunglasses in The Matrix?
Sunglasses or partial visages may give off the cool vibe in person, but in photographs (and, okay, oftentimes in real life, too) they just give people the creeps.
Studies also indicate obscured faces (disregarding cultural or religious fashions, of course) or serious, moody shots lead people to believe the poser is the neurotic sort.
Show your beautiful face to the world!
Sure, you’ve probably gained a few pounds in the past year and those bags under your eyes have gotten worse.
But don’t use it as an excuse to post a 10-year-old photo.
It might give a “wow” impression when an employer sees it initially, but it’s sure to bite you in the behind if you have to meet that guy in person.
If you’re worried about looking unflattering, don’t. There are many tricks photographers have up their sleeve to make any body type look great, and you can even practice them yourself.
You can stand slightly sideways and put your weight on your back foot. For a face shot, you can push out your jaw and point your forehead closer to the camera.
Keep it present day, people.
As Julie Andrew sings in The Sound of Music, “They’ll have to agree I have confidence in me.”
You don’t have to twirl atop a hilltop, but think “up!” Be tall. Show pride in yourself and in your work.
If you need to, try some power poses before the photo shoot. These have been proven to boost testosterone levels and, thus, confidence. That sense of accomplishment will shine through in your LinkedIn profile picture.
Otherwise, avoid slouching or shrinking in on yourself. Think wide and tall.
7. Be Memorable
You don’t have to do the splits while balancing a watermelon on your head to stand out (although it’s an option), but you also don’t want to fade into a chaotic mirage of endless faces, either.
Memorable photos can mean genuine smiles, creative backdrops or unique poses. It can even mean a simple, but a well-taken photo.
Bring a part of “you” to your picture, and chances are it will stand out from the crowd.
However, don’t overlook the elegance of simplicity: it’s both timeless and effective.
8. No Selfies
We live in an age of constant cell phone clicks and selfie sticks.
If possible, avoid this for your LinkedIn profile. Even if you don’t have the money to hire a professional photographer, consider asking someone else for help.
Another person will be able to get angles that are impossible with a selfie stick, extended arm or well-placed cell.
9. Upload Correctly
Many social media nuts don’t realize that each site has its own optimal specifications for uploading photos.
You certainly don’t want employers to see a grainy or pixelated photo, so be sure to follow LinkedIn’s specific suggestions:
- Use JPEG files for portraits and PNG files for logos or graphics.
- Ensure the pixels are at least 400 x 400 but avoid going higher than 20,000 x 20,000.
- Make sure the photo is square.
- Keep the file size below 10 megabytes.
10. Consider Professional Services
If you’re serious about your business interests, invest the money in a few really great pictures from a professional.
You won’t regret it. You’ll look more credible and serious about your business. It’s also less hassle.
Professionals will be able to make you look unbelievably good. After all, how many times have you seen a photo of someone you know and you didn’t even recognize him or her?
Lighting, exposure, angles . . .
Photographers live and breathe all of these, framing and capturing a story in a single moment.
Yes, you read correctly: “mocha,” not “cheese.”
After all, who doesn’t love coffee?
Putting all these tips for a great LinkedIn photo together can be irksome. That’s why we’re here to give you a stunning photo that is sure to bedazzle any future employer.
Book a session now with one of our talented photographers, and be ready to wave “hello” to that job you’ve always wanted.