Is your headshot slamming the door to career advancement?
It always amazes me how many people ignore the importance of their LinkedIn profile image. Dozens of studies have proven that a person with a professionally created headshot garners far more attention than those out of focus, cropped party photos or quick snapshots. With literally MILLIONS of bad profile photos out there the opportunity to stand out from the crowd is just begging you to the advantage of it. So there’s never been a better time to make a relatively small investment for some potentially huge returns. To help out, here are my top four tips to look great in your LinkedIn profile photo.
- Use a PROFESSIONAL Business Image/Headshot Photographer. I’ve heard the same excuses thousands of times over my career; “I’m not photogenic” or, “I want to lose xx pounds first” or, “I’ll save money and have my friend with a camera do it.” Well, guess what? Nobody thinks they’re photogenic, most people aren’t in the best shape of their lives, and chances are your friend with a nice camera has never studied posing, composition, or how to properly light you. And what about retouching? So put the excuses away and find a photographer who will give you that all important killer first impression.
- Don’t Wear Anything That Takes Attention Away From Your Face. Keep your clothing simple. Wear earth tones and make sure you clothing doesn’t have any distracting patterns, logos, etc. Your face and, more importantly, your eyes are the most important elements of your image. The eyes and facial expressions are what inform others about your character, confidence, and a host of other conscious and subliminal cues. Distracting clothing completely negates the whole purpose of your headshot.
- Wear Industry Appropriate Clothing. If you’re a male executive in the financial industry, or any field where your client is trusting you with their money or well being, wear a shirt, tie, and sport coat. Women, make sure your top or dress is professional. If you want to gain people’s trust you need to look the part. And that goes for any other professional, as well. If you have a dog walking business you’ll probably wear clothing geared more to the outdoors. Just make sure it’s clean, crisp, and looking good. Many people in the medical field opt for scrubs rather than business attire which is perfectly acceptable as long as they look like new.
- Stay Current! The last thing you want to hear when you show up for your dream job interview is, “Is your son/daughter on the way?” Okay, hopefully the interviewer won’t say that. But to expect one thing and see another can throw someone for a loop and make an interview uncomfortable. For that reason it’s vitally important you keep your headshot up to date. I recommend a new one about every three years or at any time you significantly change your appearance. Gents, if you’ve grown or removed a beard it’s time for an update. Gals, if you’ve gone from long blond locks to a short brunette bob, time to setup a session with your photographer. (The new business image is probably less expensive than a good cut and color. And what good is the cut and color anyway if you’re being ignored because of a poor business image?)
Want to learn more? You can download my FREE guide for great headshots (and see some samples of my work) at http://cotugnophoto.com/business-photography/