People do business with people and the need to have that personal connection is more important now than ever before. Since lockdown, being online is the only way we can connect with others, so make sure your profile shows you as a human being who does far more than the job or the task you are ‘selling’ on LinkedIn. Showing your personality will differentiate you from your competitors and could well be the difference to getting that contract, or not.
A great way to show your personality is with a profile photo that shows your face! If people like the look of your face in your profile photo, they are much more likely to get in touch to discuss that next contract.
Whilst people will always want to work with people who are professional, future employers will also want to work with people who show themselves as being ‘human’. How can you capture professionalism and humanity in your profile photo?
- Always look right into the lens when having your photo taken. When you’re talking to someone who cannot look you in the eye, it doesn’t foster a feeling of trust. Eye to eye contact really brings two people together.
- A smile or an expression that makes you look ‘open’ and ‘approachable’ is important too. People want to know that they can communicate with you.
- You don’t have to have a studio portrait style of photo – something more ‘relaxed’ is what people want to see now. As long as your photo is good quality and you are clearly identifiable without great big shadows over your face, then you’re doing well!
- Dress for your career. Wear the sort of clothes you would wear to work. If you normally wear a suit and tie, then that’s what you should wear. If you normally wear something more casual, even a T shirt, then show yourself how you would show yourself if that client came to your office.
- Keep the background clean and fuss-free. That circle is very small and it’s important the viewer isn’t distracted. If the only decent photo you have of yourself is has a busy background, you can use apps like Canva to remove the background and replace it with a solid colour.
- Go solo. No dogs or babies – this isn’t Facebook!
- Fill most of the frame with your image. Too close and your face will look distorted (and a bit scary!). If you’re too far from the lens, folk won’t be able to recognise you.
- Make sure your photo is recent. You don’t have to show your lockdown haircut (!), but you should change your photo every couple of years if you can. A key test of your photo is this: if you were to meet your LinkedIn connections in the street, would they recognise you from your profile photo?
How is your profile photo? Does it look like you? Does it show as professional, yet approachable? If I knew you only from your profile photo on LinkedIn, when we meet in person, will I recognise you? If you’re not sure, send me a link to your LinkedIn profile and I’ll review your photo for you.
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