A picture is worth a thousand words, so it’s been said. But on social media sites like LinkedIn, statistics from LinkedIn show members how including a photo receive up to 21 times more profile views and up to 36 times more messages.
These days, you are your own Brand and considering your personal branding, it’s a small investment of both money and time to get new headshots done. Especially important is making sure you look like you when meeting new clients or contacts somewhere like a crowded coffee house or after-hours location. It’s something I recommend doing at least once a year. After all, we change over time; women especially with things like haircuts and color. If it’s been a few years, you don’t want to find out the hard way; it can be embarrassing to show up at a meeting where someone has checked you out using your professional image on LinkedIn, only to discover that the image you used was about 10-15 years old. Ouch!
As much as it hurts to leave the younger you behind, here are six reasons to keep in mind when updating your LinkedIn profile pic.
- Why do professionals need a set of headshots?
Our digital identity is our new calling card, even on business cards. It puts a face with a name and how you portray yourself will assist you in getting noticed. A headshot is part of your personal branding identity.
- How often you should get new headshots?
You should refresh your headshot every year or for major changes. You should also have different images of you for different things. When someone changes their profile picture on social media, it usually gets the most likes out of anything they posted that year. The people on these platforms follow you and they want to see you looking good.
- You should look like you.
If you wear glasses and a suit to work, you should be wearing glasses and a suit for your headshot. LinkedIn is the place where you want to be seen for who you are at work and provide an idea of the type of work you do.
- What if you want casual images to be used on your personal Facebook page or in a LinkedIn story behind the scenes?
Make sure to ask your photographer if there is an additional charge for a change of outfit. Then bring along the type of clothing that will show who you are on your days off. If you need help with wardrobe, just ask the photographer you are working with. Most are very helpful with identifying colors that look best on you as well as outfits that “speak” what you are trying to show. Keep in mind you are always wanting to show the “best you”, so make sure to step it up.
- No Selfies Allowed
LinkedIn is a professional sight. You wouldn’t want to represent with less than a professional image unless you want to say something about yourself that is out of character with your qualifications. After all, if you are a Financial Planner and your image is a selfie, what does that say to your target client about you? Think about it!
Your photographer will suggest different backgrounds and lighting to bring out the best in you and fulfill your needs.
- How do I know what type of headshot?
If your company is asking for this, more than likely they have guidelines to how they want your headshot to look. Some professions prefer everyone on a black background, while others want friendly and approachable on light backgrounds. It never hurts to ask your HR department if there is a preference or company guidelines.
As with anything on LinkedIn, make sure your position and industry are current, as listing these can help you connect to jobs, content and groups you may be interested in. Even by listing location, it can help you be discovered up to 23x more in searches by alumni, recruiters, former colleagues and others, according to LinkedIn.