How to Choose the Best Headshot for Your LinkedIn Profile

Picking the best headshot in setting up a stronger LinkedIn profile, is no easy task. After all, in this digital era, your photo should be the new “make eye contact and have a strong handshake.” So how do you ensure that your 400×400 pixels of a photo can connect?

According to LinkedIn: “Our research shows that just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others.”

LinkedIn profile photo and first impressions

Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov presented results below. This is from a series of experiments of judgement from facial appearances:

  • That it only takes 100 milliseconds to form an impression from a single photo.
  • And that 80 to 90 percent judge on trustworthiness and competence.

So in a game of first impressions, how do you think your LinkedIn profile photo will fare?

In a snapshot, what do you want to them to know?

Your profile picture is one form of brand communication. In order to communicate the right perceptions, your aim should be competence, likability, and influence.

Consider these pieces in your next photo shoot:

  • the way you smile
  • the clothes (and their color) you wear
  • how comfortable and confident you felt

They all play an important role in conveying the right ideas.

What we know about clients and photo selection

Having done more than thousands of headshots, I pretty much got this down to a science. In a quick second, I could tell which ones will make it to the shortlist and which ones may not work as well. But I know it’s not the same for everyone as it requires experience and expertise. Our clients do get overwhelmed with selecting the right headshot for themselves. I understand the pressure. We want to get it right the first time.

How to choose the LinkedIn Profile

Here are some tips to help you choose the right photo for your business :

  1. Write three words that encapsulate your brand. Write them on a post-it note in front of your computer – these words should be how you want your target audience to perceive you.
  2. Before you open your photo gallery (with all the proofs in it), step into your target audience shoes’ for a moment.
  3. As you look at your photos, keep glancing at the post-it note beside your computer. If a photo fits these three words, mark them down as your shortlist for the first round of selection
  4. With your selection, go through it again and now step back into your own self and see if you will be proud of posting these photos that you selected. Cut anything that you will not be willing to put out there in public.
  5. Now, you can also invite close friends and relatives to weigh in your choice. First, give them a parameter or context of the photos. Then show them the post-it note and have them go through the same process above.

Remember to ignore any irrelevant personal inputs. These may be coming from their personal experience of you and may not apply for your business.

6. Once you have your selects, imagine these photos on your website, LinkedIn profile, and other social media profile. If you feel good about them, then you are ready to complete your selection.

After we do our touch up, the photo that you selected (and already like!) will even be better. Always go with what you think and feel right for your business and professions and you’ll never go wrong.

Wondering about our process and headshot packages? CLICK HERE to get started.