Research shows, as little as 3 milliseconds exposure to a Linkedin profile headshot is sufficient for people to decide whether your face looks trustworthy or not. Unconsciously, they will start forming opinions about whether you’re trustworthy and likable, in short, whether they want to offer you a position or do business with you.
So, you’ve finally finished entering all the content for your LinkedIn profile, or perhaps that daunting task still lies ahead, and this is your first step? Either way, you’re probably asking yourself, is it really worth investing in a professional LinkedIn Headshot? We can give you a million reasons why the answer is yes (and we will touch on some briefly below), but it’s best to think of it as a necessary business investment.
You want to look like a professional, so you’re going to turn up to a job interview or your work meeting well groomed and in appropriate corporate attire. These things came at a cost to you, but you invested in them without thinking twice about it. When it comes to making the right impression, those leather business shoes, or fitted jacket, are no more important than a great LinkedIn profile photo.
If that doesn’t quite sway you, or you think our opinion may be biased, here’s the cold, hard science of why you need to invest in a professional photographer for your LinkedIn headshot. Research shows, as little as 3 milliseconds exposure to an image is sufficient for people to decide whether the face looks trustworthy or not. Consciously or unconsciously, they will start forming opinions about whether you’re trustworthy and likable, in short, whether they want to do business with you.
You may think it’s easier to forgo a profile picture all together? However LinkedIn’s own statistics show the likelihood that your profile will get viewed if you include a professional headshot increases 12x
Is it really worth missing all those opportunities just to avoid getting a professional headshot? Perhaps you’d rather think your profile content far outweighs the importance of your LinkedIn Headshot?
A recent study below examined 30 professional recruiters' eye movements when digesting information from your LinkedIn profile. The resulting eye tracking heatmap (pictured below) showed they spent 19% of the total time spent on your profile looking at the picture and it was the first thing they observed. As the saying goes, you don’t get to make a first impression twice, so make sure it's a good one!
Business Insider Australia contacted Nicole Williams, Linkedin’s connection director, for her expert advice on the subject. William’s advice covered many of the LinkedIn Headshot “don’t”s if you want to make the right impression. If you’re currently using any of the following, it’s time to think about booking in a professional LinkedIn headshot:
- A cropped group shot
- An old photo (anything older than 5 years isn’t ok)
- A photo in an unprofessional setting (beach, nighclub, sports events, etc.)
- Your wedding photo
- A grainy or pixelated photo
- A logo or product
- A serious, dull or deadpan expression
- A “selfie”
- An avatar
Williams likens having a LinkedIn profile without a headshot, to a real estate listing without photos. You can’t help but wonder what’s being hidden!
So armed with all this information and possibly your presently below average profile shot the question is what to do next? We suggest firstly thinking about what you want to say in your shot. A great headshot photographer understands the subleties of a communication while shooting your portrait and can put you at ease in front of the lens. Also it's great to think about where else your image is going perhaps on your website in print and other marketing colateral. Sometimes changing outfits, backgrounds and lighting styles will give you another diferent look. Perhaps one being super corporate for say dealing with larger corporations and a second image more relaxed to convey an easy approachable side and more suited to SMB's
If you would like to get some great ideas around what type of headshots would work best on your linkedin profile to see examples of womens headshots Click here and for Linkedin mens headshot examples simply Click here.