Business Headshots

Why the photo on your LinkedIn profile matters

You spend a lot of time crafting your LinkedIn profile so that it sums up in a precise, professional way who are you and what you do. But have you put the same amount of effort into the photograph that goes with that profile, or, while we’re about it, your business Facebook page, Twitter account or company web pages?

Are you sure you want a holiday snap from Corfu in 2010 as your professional photo? Is that selfie of you with a tequila shot at last year’s Christmas party really the best way of portraying your professional persona? Are you convinced you want to be depicted with your arm around a friend or colleague, grinning wildly at the camera?

When selecting a client-facing portrait – just as when you’re attending an interview for a job – think of the image you want recruiters to have in mind when they first set eyes on you.

Entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den star James Caan sums it up perfectly: “A professional photo and profile would indicate to me that this person is an up-and-comer and a go-getter. They get the importance of brand – essential to any role in any company.”

Get the photograph wrong and all the work you’ve put into your profile or web pages will be undone in a single swoop.

Surprisingly, a significant number of people don’t bother adding an image at all. This despite the simple reality that recruiters and others will spend far more time on profiles or Facebook or similar pages that do have a picture. People like to know who they are dealing with, and to have as much information to hand as possible. Without a photo, they’re likely to click away and check out the competition instead.

LinkedIn says that search results on its own website for links including a photo are a whopping seven time more likely to be clicked on than those without.

On Twitter, a lack of photo leaves you with an egg image where a picture should be – on LinkedIn, it’s a male silhouette. You are literally left with no identity at all. A strong headshot, on the other hand, gives you individual appeal, visibility, personal branding, credibility and, above all, recognition. So it pays to be picky when choosing the one you’ll use on your professional social profiles.

The image should be recognisably you and of you alone. At the same time, the quality should be good enough to not look pixelated, with optimum lighting and the photo should be well cropped. While a straightforward, business-like headshot is usually the best approach, if you’re, say, a foreman working in industry or manufacturing, a picture of you standing in front of relevant machinery might also be appropriate. You can read full guidelines to LinkedIn images here.

Take the gamble out of the photos that matter. Book a studio session with Caroline Trotter today. Throughout February, this costs just £50 [ Usually £60] and includes six high-quality digital images.

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