Have you ever heard the saying, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’? In the world of online social media, this couldn’t be more true. Your LinkedIn profile picture serves as your digital handshake – it says a lot about you. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, making a great first impression is crucial. This applies whether you’re looking for a new job, showcasing your expertise, or promoting your company. First impressions happen in the blink of an eye and we’re naturally inclined to form judgements.
To quote Brynne Tillman, Official LinkedIn Sales Insider with a following of over 66,000, guiding professionals & sales teams to leverage LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, & ChatGPT, advises using the same photo across all your professional platforms, including your website for a consistent personal brand experience. Use a current photo that lets your positive energy shine through.
Here are some technical tips to keep in mind:
- Your face should take up at least 60% of the frame. Avoid excessive cropping and empty spaces around your face.
- Crop from your shoulders to just above your head for the ideal composition.
- Retouch sparingly to eliminate distractions. Avoid overediting for an authentic appearance. Remember, this isn’t supposed to be a beauty shot.
- Use a high-quality image: Ensure your photo is sharp, clean, and high-resolution (at least 400 x 400 pixels).
- Choose filters that convey the right mood for your professional image. Getting input from a professional photographer can make a huge difference. Focus on subtle adjustments like saturation and brightness.
- Use natural lighting for a home or street photo. This helps you avoid shadows in portraits. Ensure there are no light sources behind you. Avoid standing directly under a light indoors. The main light source should be in front of you, like facing a window. If outdoors, choose an overcast day or find a spot with soft, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause squinting and uneven skin tone. Try to stand facing a natural light source, such as a window.
Consider these visual tips:
- Be the sole focus. Remember, LinkedIn is not Instagram, so avoid using images with multiple people, your whole family, or even your pet. Post a recent photo of yourself.
- Wear colors that contrast with your background. For example, don’t wear a white shirt if your background is white. Solid colors photograph better than busy patterns.
- Opt for a neutral background, free from distractions.
- Have a solid background so your headshot will pop.
- If you’re using anything other than a solid background color, choose a photo that won’t visually compete with your image.
- Stay away from black and white photos.
- Don’t overlay a lot of text or use a complex graphic that can’t be easily discerned.
- Choose your clothing thoughtfully, ensuring it aligns with the impression you wish to leave.
Don’t forget about body language:
Show facial expressions that convey a trusting, warm, and approachable image.
Learn the secrets of a photogenic smile. Hide your tongue behind your teeth for a more sincere and natural smile. Some people look better when they show their teeth, others when they hide them. Try both to see what works best for you.
Use your eyes to show expression if you’re uncomfortable smiling. Close your eyes and think of enjoyable moments with your family, friends, or funny situations. Then, open your eyes, and the smile will be natural.
Pay attention to your posture, especially your shoulders. If you’re tense, take a deep breath and lean your shoulders back to project more confidence. Try turning your shoulders slightly to the right or left, standing in a small turn.
Choose the right angle. Most people tend to look better with their heads slightly at an angle instead of facing straight. Avoid looking directly into the camera unless you want a photo like your driver’s license. This technique gives your features depth and tends to be more flattering.
Create a strong jawline and avoid that skin ripple we all dislike. Bring your ears forward like a turtle coming out of a shell (toward the camera). Then push your face forward, tilting your chin down slightly. Although it might feel strange, this movement gives you a smooth, strong jawline and minimizes a double chin.
When it comes to makeup:
- Bright lipstick accentuates your lips.
- Mascara is a must as it highlights your eyes and makes them look bigger and brighter.
- Ensure your concealer and foundation are applied smoothly and match your skin tone correctly. Blend them lightly down your neck and near your earlobes for a natural look.
- Remove excess shine on the T-zone of your face with oil blotting sheets or tissue paper.
- For more makeup tips from experts, click here.
Think of your photo as a reflection of your incredible journey and the expertise you bring to the table. Implementing these strategies will not only boost your confidence but also leave a lasting, positive impression on anyone who visits your profile. Show the world the amazing professional you are!