Make sure your professional photo is a good likeness to you. We’ve all met someone whose social profile photo looks nothing like how they look now.
Maybe they’ve used a photo that was taken several years ago, started wearing glasses, or radically changed their hair style. If a hiring manager has only got that picture to go by, then you’re throwing an unnecessary curveball when it comes to meeting face-to-face.
It's said that first impressions are formed within the first seven seconds, so be sure to make a good one and use a photo that gives a clear idea of what you’d look like if they met you tomorrow. A consistent appearance professionally goes a long way.
Focus on your face
The purpose of your photo is to let people see who you are. Best practise is to aim for your face to fill around 60% of the shot.
Stick to the classic head and shoulders composition. Avoid full body and close-up face only shots as these don’t work well for a professional profile photo. Neither do group shots, so keep it solo.
Dress for the part
Your photo is being used in a networking environment, so should be appropriate to this. There’s no need to over dress, however a onesie or big slogan t-shirt isn’t going to be seen as very professional.
While many businesses will have different dress codes, with some more casual than others, putting in a little extra effort to make a good first impression shows you’re taking it seriously.
Solid colours also work well on camera and are favoured over busy patterns.
Consider the background
The best rule is to keep it simple and avoid distracting backgrounds.
It doesn’t have to be plain white or an empty space, but if you’re wearing black or have dark hair, don’t stand in front of a dark background that you’re going to merge with, look for a contrast. You want your profile photo to be clear and stand out, so aim to keep the focus on you and your face and avoid creating any unnecessary distractions.
Make a connection
Eye contact is very important, so no sunglasses, look at the camera and smile.
Go with what comes naturally, you don’t want to look tense or uncomfortable, or overdo it with massive grins. A pleasant expression and a little smile will help make you look approachable and friendly which is what you want. Consider practicing in front of a mirror first to see which expression you like best.
It is important to use a high-resolution photo as the size of the image can have a big impact on the quality.
The minimum size needed for your LinkedIn profile picture should be at least 400 x 400 pixels, with a maximum file size of 8mb. Make sure that the photo is clear when you upload it and not blurry or pixelated.
Filters and editing
LinkedIn do have filters that you can apply when uploading your profile picture and they can help make your image look more polished and sharper.
As great as filters can be, they can’t fix everything, so it’s better to take a few more shots until you are happy. Equally, don’t be tempted to over edit. Whilst you might like the option to remove a stray hair, spot, or blemish, over editing your face can make your photo look fake, so keep this to a minimum and be confident in showing the real you.
JSyder Photography will be offering free professional photos throughout the day, on stand T18, so come prepared for yours and let our photographer take care of the rest!
MorePeople will also be running their CV Clinic on stand FS7 to guide you on writing your professional profile.