In today's online world, it is very likely that your first impression of someone could be from one of their online profiles. When it comes to meeting someone for professional reasons, this first impression could very well be on LinkedIn.
One of the first, if not THE first thing people will look at on your LinkedIn profile is your display picture. Therefore it is a huge contributing factor to the first impression they will have of you. I know that if I come across profiles or get invites from users that do not have a profile picture, I automatically ding them a few points in credibility.
SO your first priority when setting up LinkedIn or optimizing your profile is to make sure you have a profile picture. BUT not just any picture. I highly recommend a professional headshot. Why?
LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots:
Are 36 times more likely to receive message on LinkedIn
Get 14 times more profile views
The messages are likely people looking to connect with you and the views are likely people looking for someone with specific credentials for an opportunity. Essentially, having a professional headshot will help you build your network and find opportunities to develop in your career.
How can you get a professional headshot in less than 10 minutes?
Let's start by covering the basic do's & don'ts that my colleague has effectively outlined in this guide to LinkedIn.
What NOT TO DO for your LinkedIn headshot:
- No selfies
- Leave out family, friends, pets (Sorry! Save this for Facebook & Instagram!)
- Using an old/dated photo
What TO DO to get a professional headshot on LinkedIn
- Get someone else to take your picture
- Look straight onto the camera
- Dress professionally
Pro Tip: If your company takes headshots of you to display on their website 'staff page', it often fits the professional headshot criteria. For an easy win - upload this image as your profile picture.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Insurance Professional's Guide to LinkedIn
If you don't have a professional headshot taken by your company, here is how to get one in less than 10 minutes:
What you need:
- White wall
- Someone to take a picture of you
- Snapseed (photo editing application for SmartPhones & PCs)
Stand up straight, against a white or light wall and get someone else to take your photo. Frame the picture from the shoulders up.
Download the Snapseed app and open the photo in the app
Using the brush tool, brighten up the background of the photo. To do this use your finger as the'brush' on the screen.
Using 'Tune Image', adjust the brightness of the entire photo by dragging your finger from left to right.
Editin your photo with these tools in Snapseed instantly gives the photo a face lift, making it look like it was taken with a professional camera.
Save photo and upload to LinkedIn as your profile picture.
VOILA! You have a professional headshot in less than 10 minutes.
Looking for more tips to step up your LinkedIn profile? Download the Insurance Professional's Guide to LinkedIn: