A Guide to Posing for the Best LinkedIn Photo
When you’re deep in the job-searching process, professional social media sites like LinkedIn can be the key to matching you up with the perfect employer. But although your career history and your credentials make up the bulk of your LinkedIn profile, a bad photo can greatly diminish your chances of landing the job.
First impressions are everything. You want your photo to represent your best qualities while presenting yourself in a professional light.
Here are some tips on posing for the best LinkedIn photo that can impress any potential employer:
Dress to Impress
That old saying still rings true: dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you’re trying to get a job as a manager or a corporate executive, a high-quality business suit is a must. Remove any piercings from your face and try to cover up blemishes and tattoos.
It’s very important that you dress accordingly. If you want a job in a field that does not mind casual dress, then it is okay to dress more relaxed in your LinkedIn photo. But you should put yourself in the mind of the hiring manager you are targeting. Credentials aside, do you look like somebody they would hire for that specific job?
Consider getting a haircut or going for a facial. Investing some time in your appearance will definitely pay off in the end, as it gives you the best chance to land your dream position.
Keep it Simple and Professional
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to their LinkedIn photo is having too much going on in the background of their shot. You don’t want a potential employer to be too distracted with what’s going on behind you. Make sure you take your photo in front of a blank background that makes your face and clothing pop. If having an outdoor headshot taken, this is fine, but make sure the focus is on you and not what’s in the background.
Also, it may seem like common sense, but don’t use photos of a night out with your friends for your professional business profile. Everybody likes to have a good time, but you don’t want to come off as immature or unreliable. Your photo should serve to enhance your career credentials, not take away from them.
Furthermore, if you are not happy with the way you look in your photo, it’s okay to have it edited slightly using Photoshop or some other photo-editing tool. But be careful to not go overboard. Over-editing your photo can reduce its quality.
Hiring a professional is the best way to ensure your photo comes out the way you want it to. A professional photographer will have the equipment to make you look your best, and will also have the experience both during the shoot and post-production for the retouching and/or editing.
Focus on Your Face
You’re the only person that needs to be in your LinkedIn photo. You don’t want to confuse potential employers. Also, make sure your face and your upper shoulders take up most of the frame for your profile picture.
When posing, look directly at the camera. Stick your jaw forward, and smile with your teeth. Make sure your head is pointed toward the camera.
The most important thing to remember when posing for your photo is that you have to look comfortable. Hiring managers will be able to tell if you are not at ease, and it may make them more reluctant to give you an interview.
Update Your Photo Regularly
Your photo should be as recent as possible. Obviously, the older the picture is, the less it looks like you. That could cause some problems if you have to meet a hiring manager in a public place.
When you do change your photo, make sure it consistently gets better. Your professional network will definitely take notice.
When choosing a LinkedIn profile photo, keep in mind that quality matters over all else. If you upload a ten-year old photo of you at your college reunion taken on a flip phone, potential employers will not take you seriously.
The only way to ensure that your LinkedIn photo is the highest quality possible is to hire a professional photographer. Blurry selfies just won’t cut it in today’s digital day and age.
Find the Best Professional Photographers in Your Area
Although your LinkedIn credentials are a major part of a hiring decision, your profile photo may be just as important. The reality is that sometimes, employers make assumptions about your temperament and work ethic based on how you present yourself. As your LinkedIn profile is your first impression, you want to make sure that you present yourself as someone they would want to hire.
A high-quality, professional LinkedIn profile photo communicates to hiring managers that you are serious about your career. Potential employers want to hire people who take the initiative to make themselves look ready to take on any responsibility.
As always, research the field you want to break into. Ask yourself, what kind of look is appropriate for people in this industry? If an employer can see you in the job before they even meet you, your chances of getting hired increase exponentially.