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Top 10 Recommendations for Capturing a Stellar LinkedIn Headshot

Hey there! So, guess what? Your LinkedIn profile picture is super important! We did some research, and having a picture can make your profile 14 times more likely to be seen by others. Cool, right?

If you’re a recruiter, that little circular image is your first chance to impress potential candidates. It’s like your unique brand image that shows people what you’re all about. And here’s a tip: if you have a headshot taken by a professional photographer, that’s a brilliant move. They know how to make you look your absolute best! It might cost around $200 and up, but it’s worth it.

But hey, if you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry! Your smartphone’s camera can do some magic, too. Want to hear my ten tips for choosing an astounding photo that’ll make a lasting impression? Of course, you do! I’ll help you find a LinkedIn headshot that is perfect for you. Let’s get started!

 Choose authentic photo for your LinkedIn Headshot that reflects the real you

Your photograph should give potential candidates an accurate representation of your appearance as they imagine meeting you in person as early as tomorrow.

Sometimes, people post pictures on their social media profiles that don’t look like them anymore. You might see a picture from 10 years ago when they didn’t wear glasses or have a different hair color. Then, if you meet them in person based only on that picture, it can be pretty surprising! It might even make you wonder if they are who they are. So, it’s essential to be careful and not make assumptions based on just one old picture, especially if it’s a LinkedIn headshot.

If you want to update your LinkedIn profile picture, choosing a recent one that shows how you look now is essential. This means a photo taken in the past few years. Your picture should look like you do every day, with your hair, glasses, makeup, and everything else that’s part of your usual appearance. Why is this important? Well, imagine if someone sees your picture on LinkedIn and then meets you in person for an interview. It’s much easier for them to recognize you and feel comfortable if your picture accurately represents you. So, updating your LinkedIn headshot is a good idea if you make any significant changes to your look. This way, you can help others have a better experience when they meet you for the first time.

Use a high-resolution image for your LinkedIn Headshot

Aim for a LinkedIn profile picture size of 400 x 400 pixels for optimal quality. While larger file sizes are acceptable (up to a maximum of 8MB), avoiding small, low-resolution images is best. Prioritize crispness and clarity to make a positive visual impact on your profile.

If the uploaded picture appears blurry, consider selecting an alternative image. This situation can also arise when capturing a picture (e.g., an ID badge photo) of an existing picture. In such cases, opting for a new picture for optimal quality is advisable.

Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame.

While a picture of yourself standing on a remote mountain peak may resonate on specific social media platforms, it may not necessarily convey a clear visual representation of your appearance to potential candidates. Consider selecting a profile photo that effectively communicates your physical attributes when seeking to make an impression in a professional context.

Instead, aim to have your face occupy approximately 60% of the frame. Crop the picture from the top of your shoulders to slightly above your head to ensure your face fills the space perfectly.

Be the only person in the picture.

Demonstrating your collaborative nature and love for your team is commendable. However, using a group photo as your profile may create uncertainty among candidates, who may find it difficult to identify you.

Opt for a solo photo as your profile pic to clearly represent yourself. This eliminates any uncertainty for potential connections. Avoid the inconvenience of cropping a group photo, where random hands or shoulders may intrude. If you wish to showcase a team picture, reserve it for your banner photo instead.

Have someone else capture the picture for you

Although using a photo captured with a cellphone is acceptable, it is advisable to avoid taking a selfie. Instead, consider asking a friend or coworker to assist you – it will only consume a minute of their time and can significantly enhance the outcome.

Firstly, it’s worth noting that most phones’ front (selfie) camera typically captures lower-quality images than the rear camera. Additionally, depending on your phone settings, the front camera may produce mirror images, resulting in backward-facing words or logos.

Plus, getting someone else to take the picture for you’ll probably find your pose more natural and comfortable. Furthermore, they guide you by providing cues to tilt your head slightly or elegantly tuck your hair behind your ears.

Take a photo with the correct expression

Your profile picture presents a valuable chance to showcase your brand. If you perceive your brand as more formal, it is acceptable to maintain a serious expression in your picture. However, in most cases, smiling can create a welcoming atmosphere for candidates and make you appear approachable.

A study analyzing 800 profile pictures shows that flashing a smile in your pic can significantly enhance how others perceive you. The research reveals that smiling with teeth is perceived as twice as likable compared to closed-mouth smiles while also boosting perceptions of likability, competence, and influence.

Before deciding on an expression, try practicing in front of a mirror to determine which suits you best. It’s important to appear comfortable, so stick with what feels natural.

Avoid distracting backgrounds

Selecting the right location for your pictures cannot be overstated. Opt for a simple background to ensure that your face remains the focal point and distractions are minimized. This not only enhances the overall appeal of your photos but also helps in boosting your online presence. Choose a suitable backdrop that complements your content, and captivate your audience with captivating visuals. 

You don’t necessarily have to stick to a blank background when capturing a photo. Exploring the outdoors or finding a vibrantly painted wall can add simplicity without compromising interest. On the other hand, if you aim to highlight the intricate details of your workspace, choosing it as your banner image might yield better results for your online presence.

Wear what you’d wear to work

The dress code in every workplace creates a distinct atmosphere, and your profile picture can convey that vibe instantly to potential candidates. It’s important to project a composed and well-dressed image.

If your typical attire consists of jeans and a button-down, showcasing that in your photo is acceptable. Similarly, if you usually don a suit, there’s no harm in sporting that outfit. Alternatively, if you primarily work from home, choose attire that aligns with the overall dress code of the company, as it helps candidates gauge the level of formality expected.

Another noteworthy tip is that solid colors tend to fare better on camera. You can make your picture stand out by skillfully combining bold tones in your outfit.

Take the photo in soft, natural light

Proper lighting has a significant impact on enhancing the overall appearance and ambiance of your photographs. The choice between different lighting sources plays a crucial role. For instance, standing beneath harsh fluorescent lighting can result in an undesirable color shift and unflattering shadows on your face. Similarly, a camera flash may produce a shiny effect on your skin. Natural light is generally preferred for achieving optimal results, although caution should be exercised with direct sunlight to avoid overexposure in pictures. Consider these lighting tips for capturing visually captivating and professionally appealing photographs for your audience.

For optimal photography results, consider capturing your picture outdoors on overcast days or in slightly shady areas away from direct sunlight. Another option is to use the soft, natural light with sunset or position yourself near a window indoors for a flattering, radiant glow on your skin. Just remember to avoid having your back face the window to ensure clear visibility of your face. Follow these tips for stunning photos!

Use filters wisely 

LinkedIn now provides users with six diverse filters to enhance their profile pictures, each offering a unique look and feel. When selecting a filter, consider the mood you wish to convey. Feel free to experiment and be adventurous to discover the perfect fit. For instance, the Spotlight and Classic filters can add a touch of refinement and crispness to your image.

Even if you prefer not to apply a filter, you can effortlessly enhance your photo’s brightness, contrast, saturation, and vignette directly on LinkedIn. No need to delve into Photoshop for nuanced adjustments.

What having a great LinkedIn profile picture means for you.

To enhance your response and referral rates, allocate attention to your profile picture. It is your initial opportunity to convey your approachability, likeability, and trustworthiness. These attributes are vital in encouraging prospects to interact and engage with you.

Think of it as your first step to building your brand on LinkedIn and making yourself stand out from other recruiters. Now that’s worth investing in. 

Don’t wait any longer! Supercharge your LinkedIn profile by getting a fantastic headshot captured by the talented professional photographers at Zen Studio. Take your presence to the next level and make a lasting impression! Have your headshot taken by us today!

Mich Angela Pinili

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