You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. In fact, you don’t even get one second to make a first impression.
According to studies, it only takes a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face. If a picture speaks a thousand words, then your LinkedIn photo should clearly (and quickly!) communicate your brand statement. Here are three things to consider for your LinkedIn photo:
1. No Photo? No Way!
There are tons of articles about what types of photos not to post on LinkedIn. Selfies and group photos top most of the lists. So what’s worse than a profile photo of you and your dog? Not having a having a LinkedIn photo at all!
Your profile is 21 times more likely to be viewed on LinkedIn if you have a photo. If your profile does not include a photo, you run the risk of leaving negative impressions. It can appear that you have something to hide. Recruiters may question if the information on your profile is accurate. Not having a photo can also cause missed connections and opportunities. We often use LinkedIn to jog our memories when we’ve met someone at a networking event or through a mutual connection.
If you do not have a professional headshot (yet), grab your smartphone and ask a friend to snap a photo for your profile!
2. One Size Does Not Fit All
Grey blazer, check. White button up, check. Arms folded across the chest, check. These elements work perfectly for some industries/professions. Imagine if a freelance fashion photographer included a photo of herself in a suit sitting at a desk. It might feel out of place, right?
There is not one formula for styling a LinkedIn photo,according to a study of over 2,000 LinkedIn profiles across 11 industries. The study shows interesting facts about profile photos:
- Most Formally Dressed: Finance, Banking, Real Estate, Government
- Most Business Casual: Marketing, Advertising, PR, IT, Computer Science, HR, Recruiting
- Most Social: Retail, Health, Wellness, Fitness, Healthcare
- Most Casual: Health, Wellness, Fitness, Retail, Government
Are you a motivational speaker looking to book clients? Your photo should look inviting, warm and friendly. Are you an IT Project Manager? A Physician’s Assistant? Find others in your field (or your company) to get an idea of elements that are consistent in your field.
3. Tasha, is that you?
Have you ever looked up the LinkedIn profile of someone and when you met them, they were unrecognizable? Or worse, others are not able to recognize you based on the picture that you have posted. LinkedIn Marketing Expert, Christine Hubert, has advised to change your picture when you update your look or brand. Even if you do not make any drastic changes to your physical appearance, Hubert says “at the least update it every few years.”
Other than a dramatic physical change, not sure when to update your photo? Here are few reasons:
- New Industry/Field: Your profile picture should be similar to the norms of those in your field or industry. If you leave a role in banking for an opportunity in corporate fashion retail, you should update your photo to reflect your new industry.
- Glasses/Contacts: If you alternate between the two, take a photo with and without your glasses. You can easily swap the photos periodically.
- To Get Noticed: When you update your photo (or make other updates on your profile), you network receives a notification. This is a great way to stay top of mind with recruiters and pique their interest to view your profile.
Go ahead and update your LinkedIn profile photos! Remember, a picture speaks a thousand words…in a tenth of a second.