Why is a professional headshot so important?
We often still see holiday photos or pictures of parties, with or without children, as profile pictures on Linkedin.
While it is sometimes nice to show that you like to travel or have beautiful children, these photos usually add little value to your profile.
On Facebook, this is all possible, but on a LinkedIn profile, it really is ‘not done’. It shows a lack of professionalism and does not show that you take your job seriously. Even if you have an impressive CV and enviable work experience, people ALWAYS look at the photo first!
It is sometimes said that the first impression always sticks, and this is largely true. If that first impression is not great, it is very difficult to improve it later. People prefer to choose people!
No matter how competent you are or what extraordinary skills you have, in the end we all prefer to work with someone who exudes confidence and is pleasant to work with. Therefore, we prefer to choose someone we have the impression we will get along with, someone who sends a positive message. That positive message can be confidence, competence, likability, or preferably a combination of all three! So investing in a good profile photo is essential and will determine the success of your profile. Definitely don’t skimp on the photographer, because you want to look as good as the photographer’s talent can make you…
We regularly hear from people who want a special, original or crazy photo as their profile picture. Or a photo with an object that illustrates their talents or function. This might be nice for on your website, but not as a profile photo. The sole purpose of a profile picture is to quickly show, with a small photo, the face behind a profile. So keep it simple without a busy background. Make sure people can and want to look at only one thing: you!
Of course, there are always exceptions. If you work in a creative field, an original photo can work, but it has to be really unique and well done. You understand that an accountant wearing disco glasses and a party hat cannot count on much professional credibility or trust….
Sometimes a character-driven photo can also be a good idea, but only if it really suits you.
Always remember that a profile picture should show directly what you want to show, or what people want to see: “What face is behind this profile?” Very literally: your face! In other words, your eyes and your facial expression. The latter is formed by a combination of your mouth, eyebrows and… your eyes!