If you spent any time at all on LinkedIn, you’ve seen the wide variety of profile pictures people are using. Some are great, but there are many, many more that make you wonder “What were they thinking?!?”
What’s the goal of your LinkedIn page? Are you looking to attract more customers? Change careers? Find people to collaborate with? Whatever your goals are, make sure your picture supports that goal.
Why focus so much on your picture? Because your profile picture is the single most viewed part of your entire profile page. A study of recruiting professionals showed that the profile picture was the first thing looked at, and the one element on the page that was looked at the most.
Since the single most important aspect of a LinkedIn profile is the picture you use, it pays to get it right.
Here are our top 7 tips to make your LinkedIn picture work for you:
- Use a real picture of you. That’s right, it needs to be of you, and you alone. Not a logo. Not a picture with you and your partner, child, dog, or salamander. Oh, in case you missed it, do not use a logo!
- Use a close-up of your face. Profile pics are small, so there’s no room to show you golfing, hiking, full length, or 3/4 length. You want others to get a sense of who you are, and to do that they need to see your face clearly. Remember, this is all about YOU. To get a close up of your face, it helps if you have someone else take your picture using a telephoto lens. This avoids the distortion (exaggerated forehead, nose, etc) you get when the camera is too close to your face. Sorry, a selfie just isn’t as pleasing as close up taken from further away.
- Look approachable. The point of a profile picture is to show you at your best, so it’s important your picture shows a happy, approachable person who’s relaxed and friendly. It’s hard to describe how to look relaxed and approachable, but this is something a skilled photographer is able to coax out of even the most nervous people.
- Use a solid, plain background. Remember, this picture is all about you! A cluttered or busy background can be distracting, taking the attention away from you. You want the attention to be on your awesome, relaxed expression, and nothing else.
- Solids for clothing. Just like the background, the clothing you’re wearing during your photo shoot should help draw attention to your face – this means it shouldn’t be attention getting. Busy patterns and unusual styles compete for the viewer’s attention, taking the focus away from you.
- Keep it current. Don’t use the decade-old picture from University or your wedding. People deserve to see the you of today, especially if there’s any possibility they may meet you in person. When we’re surprised to see someone older that what we expected (based on a picture we saw online), do you think your credibility goes up, or does it gone down just a bit?
- No Logos! I get it – you’re representing a company – but we all deal with people, real, living breathing humans. Credibility skyrockets when we allow people to get to know us. Use a real picture of you and you’ll enjoy stronger, deeper connections.
It’s easy to get your LinkedIn profile picture right
For do-it-yourselfers, the hints above will get you a LinkedIn profile picture that’s pretty great. If you want to take it to the next level, hire a professional to do it for you. A headshot specialist like Whitesell Photography has the skill and experience to not only create a technically perfect headshot, but will use their soft people skills to capture plenty of relaxed, friendly, inviting poses for you to choose from.
We offer a special Linkedin Profile session so you can make your best first impression. Our Linkedin Profile Session includes 15 minutes with the photographer, immediate review of all poses, and final selection of your favourite. You’ll be able to watch your selected pose get retouched and your finished LinkedIn profile shot will be done and ready to upload when you finish!
Book your LinkedIn Profile Session now.
Immediately after booking, we’ll send a guide for clothing, hair and makeup. Be sure to include your cell number, because we’ll send you a reminder text the afternoon before your session.