Several years ago, I attended an international conference and they had an automated station where you could pose and get a few headshots. The results were stunning… the intelligence behind the camera had you position your head to a target, then the lighting automatically adjusted, and boom… the photos were taken. I felt like a dang supermodel they came out so good… and I immediately uploaded them to every profile.
But it wasn’t really me. I’m not a supermodel. I’m a jovial, mischievous, and happy chubby guy that loves to smile, laugh, and learn from others. A couple months passed and I was having dinner with my daughter and a woman that I knew sat down to chat with us. My daughter… who can’t let any situation go unphotographed… snapped a photo of us mid-chuckle.
I love this photo. I needed a haircut, the background was warm wood, the lighting was welcoming, and I’m wearing a plain burgundy t-shirt.. no suit or tie. This photo is me. Once I got home, I cropped it and put it up on my LinkedIn profile.
Of course, I’m not just an employee on LinkedIn. I’m a speaker, an author, a consultant, and a business owner. Not a week goes by that I’m not connecting with a potential partner, client, or employee on LinkedIn. I absolutely can not stress enough how important your profile photo is. Before we meet, I want to see you, see your smile, and look in your eyes. I want to feel as though you’re friendly, professional, and are a great person to connect with.
Can I get that from a photo? Not all of it… but I can get a first impression!
Does a LinkedIn Picture Affect Your Hireability?
Adam Grucela at Passport-Photo.online answered this key question with some outstanding advice with supporting statistics in this infographic. The infographic touches on some critical aspects of a LinkedIn profile photo… including the top characteristics:
- Charisma – make the visitor like and trust you.
- Professionalism – adjust the picture to your niche.
- Quality – upload only well-taken photographs.
- Personality – get them to know you better.
They provide some tips – like hiring a professional photographer, using a high-quality image, ensure it’s professional, use great posture and show your charisma. they also provide some red flags:
- Don’t use a partially visible face.
- Don’t use a low-resolution photo.
- Don’t use a vacation photo.
- Don’t use an image that’s not authentic.
- Don’t use a company photo over a personal one.
- Don’t be over-the-top on being casual.
- Don’t use a photo without a smile!
The infographic also let’s you know that your photo isn’t everything… optimizing your entire LinkedIn profile is critical to increasing your ability to connect and be hired. Be sure to read our other articles and accompanying infographics, including this detailed guide on optimizing your LinkedIn profile, as well as these additional LinkedIn profile tips.
But I Hate Taking Photos
I get it but your profile photo is not for you! If you hate getting and using photos of yourself, ask a good friend that you trust. There’s nothing like getting a photographer and a friend to take you out, grab a few dozen shots, and then let your trusted friend select the photo to use. They know you! They’ll know which one really does a great job at representing you.