First impressions DO matter!
Your LinkedIn profile picture serves as a critical first impression for potential employers, business partners and clients, so you know it needs to be good! In my experience shooting professional headshots and LinkedIn profile portraits for many years, I’ve seen lots of myths published on the “Dos and Don’ts” of a great profile photo. Here are three myths that might be keeping you from capturing an image that best represents YOU.
Myth #1 – Photos should be facing in toward the copy
Potential employers don’t care which direction your photo is facing. They want to see someone who appears confident, smart and well qualified. To convey this, your photographer should photograph you on your “best side.” Yes, it’s true—most of us have a “good side” and a “not as good side” to our face. Shot from the correct angle, your face expresses the self-assured, poised and professional person you are. “Facing the copy” should be considered in print media and website design, but when working with the defined real estate for LinkedIn, go for your best image.
Myth #2 – Always smile BIG (that is, show your teeth)
Your photograph should capture your natural smile – the smile that tells the world that you’re approachable and friendly. When photographing my clients, I study their face’s natural expressions and ways of communicating. For some people, a huge smile that shows their teeth looks forced and awkward (and maybe a little scary). Be true to yourself. Maybe your personality screams, “Smile!” or maybe your true self just murmurs it quietly inside your head. The most important thing is capturing the look that is authentic and uniquely yours.
Myth #3 – There is a right and a wrong way to crop your photo
So now, maybe you have a great professional headshot, but you only have a tiny square on your LinkedIn profile to showcase this photo. How do crop the image to make the best impression?
The only rule on cropping your LinkedIn profile photo is that it allows the viewer to make a personal connection with you. To do this, you need to crop the photo close enough that people can see your eyes. You’ve probably heard, “The eyes are the gateway to the soul,” and it’s true. Your eyes convey so much about you; use them to make meaningful connections and build lasting relationships. For more suggestions on cropping, check out my blog on “Artistic Cropping for Headshots.”
The key in overcoming these 3 Myths is to use a photograph that truly captures your authentic self. A photograph that genuinely reflects “you” will leave a lasting impression, and it may be the first step in landing your next client or career move.
Jen captures her clients’ authentic brand through LinkedIn profile pictures and business photography. After working 25+ years for companies like Medtronic, Dayton Hudson and Deluxe Corporation, Jen took her years of executive and corporate communications experience working for Fortune 1000 companies and now puts it to use working with individuals and companies to capture their authentic brand.
Jen’s photography studio, KeliComm Headshots, is located in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.