LinkedIn Profile Pic - Why Selfies Won't Work
Written by Connel Valentine on 28th Jan 2022
I just did a photo shoot with John yesterday. He’s an amazing photographer.

All I heard all day was “Tilt your head”, “Adjust your jacket”, “Move your hands”, “Tummy in”, “Butt out”.

A photographer is not just someone with an expensive camera. It’s also about positioning and lighting. This is why I’ve never even tried to think that I can do this on my own.

And it got me wondering about LinkedIn profile pics.

I’m a numbers guy. So before I started writing this email, I Googled around to see some quantifiable benefits of using a profile picture on LinkedIn.

I found this statement on LinkedIn’s help page - "Members with a LinkedIn profile pic  can get up to 21 more times profile views than members without."

Hoo boy! TWENTY ONE times more profile views.

Now that you know you need a profile pic (and I’m sure most of you already have one), the next point is about picture quality.

While many job seekers have a profile pic, they pay little attention to the quality of the shot.

You should consider investing in getting a professional headshot done of yourself. Remember, when a recruiter, hiring manager or network contact is looking at your pic, they are creating the first personal impression of you.

Common mistakes I see people make are using cropped out pics or selfies or using the same pic they used in their passport.

The most unprofessional shots I see have the following symptoms:

- They are too far from the camera, I can’t even see their face. 
- Or they are too close.
- They are not smiling.
- You can easily tell it’s a lazy, cropped photo from a wedding
- There is more than one person in the profile (yes I’ve actually seen this)

All of these mistakes leaves the viewer looking at your profile with the impression that you’re not detail oriented or professional enough to take your job search and brand seriously.

If you want to get ideas on what a good profile pic looks like, it’s not hard.

Just go to Google Images and type “LinkedIn Profile Headshot”. Notice what they all have in common? They are up to the chest and they are all smiling.

The smile is key. You want the recruiter or manager or networking contact to say to themselves “Yes, this looks like a person I can get along with.”

That serious non-smiling look you are forced to give when getting your passport photo done is going to create a very negative impression of you.

I know what you’re thinking – “Can I do this myself or do I need to spend money to hire a pro?”

That’s your call. If you want to take the D-I-Y approach, get a pic done, and compare it to these examples you see on Google. 

Hats off to you if you can accomplish it on your own.

Of all things one does during a job search, this is probably the most fun exercise. 

So enjoy it. Remember, if you are considering investing in a photographer, you can make full use of that investment by reusing that photo in many places.

It will be in your HR file and Skype/Teams/Zoom profile pic at your new job, and will certainly portray a professional you to your new colleagues.
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About the Author: Connel Valentine

Connel helps newcomers and residents of Canada that have 3+ years of professional experience, find jobs that fit their experience and skills, that pays $80K-$140K per year. He blends modern job search strategies with old-fashioned marketing that gets a response from every job application.
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