Top 10 Effective Tips to Rock Your LinkedIn Profile Photo
Admit it. We're all guilty of forming quick judgements of people when we see their profile photos. These days, social media profiles are increasingly important in building our personal and professional identity and network.
With professional networking platforms like LinkedIn, we can connect with our friends, colleagues, recruiters, potential employers and clients with the click of a button. But have you wondered how your LinkedIn profile photo can affect your job prospects?
"It's a hugely powerful branding tool — and you have to be very strategic about building it," Nicole Williams, Connection Director for LinkedIn.
For a start, your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed by others just by having a profile photo according to LinkedIn's research. So how do you make sure that your LinkedIn profile photo is helping, and not harming your professional image? Let's get started:
1. Upload a profile photo
This is a no-brainer. You may have neglected your LinkedIn profile due to your busy schedule, but having a LinkedIn profile without a photo will give others the wrong impression that you're lazy and don't care. This can cost you potential opportunities. Lucky for you, it's never too late to realise it now and get started with a good profile photo.
2. No selfies
No matter how flattering you look in your selfies, save those photos for your personal Instagram or Facebook. You want to be perceived as a professional on LinkedIn.
3. No personal photos, even if it's professionally taken
You don't want your potential employers, clients, or recruiters to see what you were wearing for your beach holiday, how you're madly in love with your pets, or how your "Asian flush" looks.
4. Stay relevant
Is your current profile photo taken in the 80s, 90s, 00s? Is your photo of low quality, background looking cloudy, blue/red in colour, or does it look like a passport photo? If yes, time to archive those photos and get a new headshot!
You want your potential employers, clients, and recruiters to believe that your professional skills are up-to-date before they read your profile.
So how do you look relevant at one glance? You start with an updated profile photo. This will help to get their attention and create the right impression.
5. Look like yourself
Have you met people whom you did a double take when you saw them in real life? How did that make you feel about their credibility? Whether you're meeting someone from a dating site or interviewing for a new job, it's startling to meet someone who doesn't look like their profile photo. So don't be one of them.
You want to look natural yet polished. When you appear to look like the same person in your profile photo, it will also further boost your credibility at your business meetings or job interviews.
6. Wear what you'd wear to work
Dress to the standards of your industry. LinkedIn also emphasises the importance of choosing a profile photo that features you in clothing you'd wear to work.
Add personality to your style. Choose clothes and colours that flatter you. Avoid wearing stripes, patterned clothing or over accessorising as they don't end up well in profile photos. If you wear a uniform to work, you may want to wear something else that is appropriate for your profile photo, just like if you were to go for a job interview.
7. Use a neutral background
Cloudy photo backgrounds are outdated. Red/blue/colourful background may make you stand out in the wrong way. However, a neutral background like white, grey and black can help to make your profile photo look timeless. You want others to see you and not get distracted by the background or to wonder what's behind you. You need the focus to be on you.
8. Be approachable-looking
You don't have to be born attractive to have a great profile photo. You just need to look approachable. For C-suite and senior positions, looking healthy is especially important. Not smiling at the camera in dark lighting will not work towards your advantage unless you're applying for a villain role.
If you need a new haircut, hair colour, professional makeup look or facial treatment to freshen up your appearance, go make an appointment before updating your profile photo.
When you're presenting your professional front on LinkedIn, you also want to gain the trust of recruiters, potential employers, clients, and people in your network who can open doors to better opportunities. So looking approachable and having your photo taken in a well-lit and clean environment are exceptionally important.
If you're not used to smiling for the camera, practice doing it in front of the mirror when you're getting ready for work every day. Try different ways of smiling, angling your face slightly and think of positive thoughts like clinching your sweetest deal to boost your confidence.
9. Consider a professional photographer who can put you at ease in front of the camera
LinkedIn recommends you to hire a professional photographer and such services will cost you between US$200-$400. There'll always be cheaper, more expensive or even free choices in the market but don't get carried away.
You need a profile photo that works for you, so invest in a good one. I'd highly recommend you to look at the photographer's portfolio and their LinkedIn profile photo before deciding. If you have a professional photographer friend who can put you at ease in front of the camera, good on you! Otherwise, look for the ones who are experienced and know what they're doing.
Doing it right will not only improve your professional image but it can also help to open doors to better opportunities, job prospects, connections, and business deals.
10. Stay consistent
Once you've a great profile photo, don't just use it on LinkedIn. Use your professional photo across different social media and online platforms. You'll want to look consistent for your professional image so that people will recognise you on your other profiles immediately.
Now, go rock it!
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