Like many of you who are signed up to LinkedIn I receive regular notifications in my email from them, showing what my connections are up to. This is accompanied by LinkedIn Headshot profiles of the individuals. A list of names, of course, being less effective than the imagery of the people.
I showed Sarah some of the recent emails and we were actually trying to work out who some of the people were. The photographs didn’t necessarily lend themselves to being used for professional purposes but more obviously didn’t work for purely identification given that some of the people were unrecognizable from real life, and a few have forgotten that they’ve aged and should update their photographs to something contemporary.
A lot of images used on LinkedIn are casual shots. We’re reminded by experts (especially in Human Resources) that judgements are made, for good and bad.
We have to remind ourselves that we want to be seen as someone that others would like to work with, or at the very least, someone they can work with. Our profile picture is more and more likely to be the first point of contact with us. So why risk it?
Generally what happens when people sign up to use services that request headshots is to default to the handiest, most flattering one they have to hand. And sometimes our self analysis is way off.
LinkedIn users see a photograph of themselves that appeals to them and use it. But we should be thinking what the image says to others viewing the profile and what expectations or letdown we create to that audience.
Another systematic fault is using a photograph that might be at least 5 years old. We age and we change. Own it!
We still see too many photographs that are cropped too wide, allowing too much space, too many distractions, perhaps the wrong clothing, and not enough “character”, too much body and not enough head (so to speak) – not enough you!
With Into The Picture’s LinkedIn headshot work we concentrate very much on showing off the head and shoulders but not more. Too often people use images showing the whole or half body and minimising their face to a too few pixels. Your face is your unique identity. Given that most profiles don’t make the most of the portrait space provided we make the decision to use it with the most important part of you. Our clients benefit from that.
Far too many images are shot at the wrong time of day. For example, we see shots done at parties and evening events. Nothing inherently wrong with that but it doesn’t necessarily help put you in from of the people you need. Yes you might be dressed up, hair and make-up looking incredible, but the shot is too dark, too indistinct, too much about the environs, and too much about your clothing and persona that may suggest glamour, for instance, more than business.
A photograph from a family picnic may represent to you relaxed, happy and carefree characteristics, but to others it may be too casual.
We’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But we do. Rightly or wrongly those judgements are being made about you without your participation and they’re being done in split seconds. You’re being eliminated by those who are seeking to fill roles because of an existing image.
The researchers Todorov and Porter wrote that in even the shortest time period, as little as 40 milliseconds for instance, immediate first impression “biases” and prejudices are formed when viewing profile pictures.
We like to think of ourselves as a literate society. We read for comprehension. We understand facts, statistics, graphs, charts, plans. We know the difference between great CV’s and those who are bluffing. And despite all that, but for the sake of a professional headshot designed to assist us, we risk being discarded from consideration.
You can change that. People with professional headshots are noticed because certain expectation parameters have been met and exceeded. Professionalism is appreciated – virtually immediately.
To view more of our LinkedIn Headshot profiles photos please visit our gallery.
Into The Picture understands people. We’re in the business of creating unique LinkedIn headshot photos for people of all ages. Call us today for your Linkedin profile photo.