LinkedIn is a social media platform unlike any other. Instead of sharing family photos you're networking with other professionals to find or advance your career and your image matters. As mentioned on LinkedIn's 10 Tips for Taking a Professional LinkedIn Profile Photo, just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. That little round image is your first step in making a first impression.
What Should Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Look Like?
While choosing your professional image may seem like a daunting task it can be broken down into a few key points:
- Your photo should look like you...today. I know, I know - that photo from 15 years ago IS great but this photo should be a clear representation of you today. How often this needs to be updated varies person to person but generally any major changes to hair style, weight loss, or appearance warrants a new photo.
- Your face should fill most of the frame. Crop your photo from your shoulders to the top of your head.
- Use a clear, sharp, well lit headshot. The ideal size for your profile picture is 400x400 pixels. Your image should be high resolution and not appear blurry when uploaded. Cropping your head from a group image or full body image will result in a lower resolution.
- Dress for the job you want. You don't want to be over or under dressed, but you do want to convey the right professional image for your roll.
- Choose an authentic, approachable expression. This will vary from person to person, if your roll/brand is a little more serious maybe a smile is not for you. However, one study of 800 profile pictures found that people view you as more likable, competent, and influential if you smile in your photo. And smiles that show teeth were rated twice as likable as closed-mouth smiles. Work to get some variety in your photo shoot so you have options.
What Should I Wear for a LinkedIn Headshot Photo Shoot?
Well, the good news is your only dressing from the chest up so you can skip the pants! Well, please don't skip them entirely but you can skip worrying about the look. You will only see from the chest up in your headshot so think about neckline, jacket fit, jewelry and makeup more than a complete outfit.
- Fit is key. Your clothing should fit you well across the shoulders and chest, lay nicely when you sit and not be too bulky. Suit jackets should be tailored or well fitting, an oversized jacket looks very messy in photos.
- Color and pattern is a personal preference. I love a pop of color to help you stand out in the crowd, choose a color that flatters your skin tone. Small patterns will look like a solid when sized down so stand back a bit when looking at clothing options - often a solid will work better. Avoid black/white/gray unless adding some color at these can wash you out.
- Use jewelry/accessories sparingly. Chunky jewelry can be distracting in photos so consider smaller pieces. Scarves can add bulk to your neckline. Layers photograph well.
- When in doubt, dress up. I always recommend at lease some images taken in a jacket for both men and women. Ties are worn less frequently now so only wear one if common within your industry/company.
- Professional makeup is always a good idea. Since these photos focus on your face, having your skin looking it's best is ideal. Make up should be polished and a little more than normal day to day make up. Standard retouching will remove blemishes and soften lines but it will not add color, contouring or depth to an image.
You probably already have the perfect headshot clothing in your closet right now. It's that blouse that gets you so many compliments, the jacket that makes you feel powerful. Don't over think it, we are her to walk you through every step of the process!
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