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The job market has changed. The day and age where physical resumes held the most leverage in getting discovered has passed, and today, most (if not all) recruiters scour the internet seeking out the best candidate for open positions. In today’s digital marketplace, a well-written resume is just not enough and doesn’t carry the weight that it once had.
Using job-seeking tools such as LinkedIn can help increase your job search, but just plopping your resume details in your LinkedIn profile won’t be enough. Enhancing your profile with a headshot will add greater value to your profile. In fact, according to this article available via The Ladders, “your LinkedIn profile is 40 percent more likely to get clicked on if it contains an image.”
Choose your picture strategically so that it enhances, rather than damages, your professional brand. Here are 9 common mistakes outlined in the article, and included are a few examples of what not to do.
1. Blurry / Too Small: Who is this person? Optimal photo size and resolution is required. “Ideally your photo should be 200 x 200 pixels or larger.”
[Who is this person’s photographer, her 5-year old maybe?]
2. Too Close or Too Far Away: The article recommends sticking with the standard head shot for your profile picture.
[That’s really me, working away in my cube.]
3. The Group Shot: Don’t make anyone try and guess who you are. Represent your professional brand in the best light possible.
[This is like a complicated game of hide-and-seek.]
4. The Crop: No one wants to see half of your partner or your best friend’s face.
[Oops, I really should cut her out of my photo completely.]
5. Bad Lighting: Unless you are auditioning for a horror film, provide employers with a positive, professional first impression.
[Sepia tone is not my photo friend.]
6. Too Serious: “Serious professional” and “glamour shot” photos aren’t doing you any favors. Appearing friendly and approachable are your best bets.
[I am this serious all of the time when working.]
7. Goofy Expressions: The photo should share the same professional message of your resume. These pics I have provided are the double whammy – Goofy expression AND the Crop.
[To be fair, that margarita was really yummy…]
[Who else is a Buckeye? OH – IO!]
8. Pet or Baby Pic: Similar to the group photo, this should represent YOUR professional brand.
[Yep, that’s really me circa 1982!]
9. No Photo: The worst yet! However, the article does advise that having no photo is better than uploading one that doesn’t project the right message.
[How serious is she really about her career path?]
Best Practices: While the web is filled with pages upon pages of best practices for a LinkedIn photo shot, the best advice is to make sure the photo represents YOU in YOUR best possible light. If you are stuck trying to find the right mix of professional, non-threatening, ask a colleague or friend to snap a few shots of you when you feel your best. Chances are if you are feeling your best, you are probably looking your best.
Also, if you are interested in other LinkedIn best practices – check out these LexTalk posts:
Feel free to ask questions or share your thoughts in the comment section below about how you think the LinkedIn tool (or other social sharing tools) have or can help.
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A headshot in a professional environment would be the best Profile Picture to have LinkedIn, because it is a professional platform.