The Importance of a Professional Looking Headshot!
I have a little “test” for you. Scroll through your connections on LinkedIn and look at each profile picture. My question: What is the first impression or detail you find for each? I did this exercise while preparing for a workshop at Johnson & Wales University.
Here is what I found and my impressions:
- The Crop – Prospects, recruiters, other colleagues want to see your entire face, not your face minus your chin! Impression: lack of attention to detail.
- The Family Portrait – This is when you use that fun family shot taken with your kids and Mickey Mouse and you crop yourself out to use as your profile image. Impression: Not taking stock in the importance of their personal brand. In turn, might not take stock in me!
- The Distance Shot –“I think he is smiling?” or “I am not quite sure what she looks like.” Impression: I am not sure whom I am doing business with.
- The Grainy Mug Shot – The image is so grainy and discolored that the end-result is a mug shot! Impression: YIKES!
Even though our intention is to be friendly and approachable, others interpretations as I mentioned above, can be anything but! We make quick nonverbal judgments on people before we get to know their character! On social media, it is crucial we make that quick impression a positive one. Here is what I suggest:
- Invest in the best image – you can afford. Save the family photos for Facebook. Allocate funds to invest in a professional headshot that captures your best self.
- Dress for your industry – If you are in the banking/finance/legal industry, wear a dark colored suit, such as navy or charcoal. Creative sector, add a pop of color to your outfit. The idea is to match your look to your industry.
- Don’t wear white or shiny shirts! This is a good tip for T.V. appearances too. White tends to wash out the skin. Men: if wearing white, add a pop of color with your tie. Also, stay away from shiny shirts that glare in photos. All are distractors from your face and your message!
- Crisp Collars – Ironed & starched collared shirts and jackets send a very professional and commanding message in a photo. Wrinkles and unkempt collars and shirts pull focus away from your face.
Follow these tips to score 100% on your LinkedIn profile! Say cheese!