Hopefully this doesn’t come as a shock to you, but Recruiters use LinkedIn… a lot. They look for new candidates, research applicants before calling them, and generally use it as one of their primary recruiting tools. It’s safe to say that if your LinkedIn profile is not up-to-date, you’re kissing opportunities good-bye.
This Fast Company article further outlines the importance of an updated profile and when you need to make sure your profile is updated which pretty much translates to “always”. For example:
When you’ve landed a role but haven’t started
When you’re just starting a new role
When you’re several months/years in
When you get promoted
When you’re ready to move on (but don’t want people to know)
When you’re obviously job searching
There are plenty of sections in your profile to prioritize and keep updated, but your profile photo is the only element that creates a visual first impression and can make or break you. Getting that perfect picture doesn’t have to be as daunting and expensive as you may think, but it does take a bit of time if you want to get it right. This LinkedIn post by Michele LaCagina might be the most detailed and helpful advice on taking pictures by yourself that we’ve ever come across. It’s quite lengthy but extremely worth the read (and entertaining). Here’s a summary of the steps:
The Set-Up: Prop your phone or camera up so it’s the right height and will perfectly capture your headshot, including shoulders and upper torso. Set the timer for about 3 seconds and run multiple tests to make sure it’s working as expected.
Make Yourself Look Great: The author gives advice both for putting on make-up and selecting the right wardrobe. If you decide to wear make-up, she recommends making it heavy, and everybody should wear a blazer while avoiding any jewelry or accessories.
Getting the Best Shot: When you’re looking your best, it’s time to take 50-100 shots (if you don’t feel silly, you’re doing it wrong). For something that sounds easy, LaCagnina proves that there are a lot of details on how you pose and what to do, but she stresses plenty of times that smiling is the most important.
Selecting and Testing: What are you going to do with all of those pictures of yourself? If you’re a narcissist, print them all and hang them up around your house. For everyone else, you need to narrow it down to your favourite few, then let strangers judge away. The article links to Photofeeler, a helpful app where people you’ve never met look at your pictures and rate them on competence, likeability and influence. It sounds terrifying, but certainly is the best way to get a subjective opinion.
Photo Editing: The final stage is optional, but can make a huge difference. Even without Photoshop, there are free online tools that will help you perfectly crop your photo and adjust the lighting as suggested in the article.
Can your LinkedIn profile picture, or any other professional headshot for the matter, use an upgrade? If so, why not get started today and let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear about your experience creating the perfect picture.