One problem many people face when creating a new Linkedin profile or when looking for a new job is their personal picture.
We’ve all been there, asking this question:
How to look more self-confident and make my future employer want to hire me?
It’s no big secret that you will have to pass the job interview first. But having an engaging profile picture is going to significantly help you get that interview.
Today you will learn how to take a perfect headshot at home.
- Why Do You Need a Linkedin Profile Picture?
- How To Take a Linkedin Profile Photo At Home?
Why Do You Need a Linkedin Profile Picture?
A pleasant Linkedin photo is a must whether you are looking for a new job or just making new connections.
According to Linkedin’s Official Blog, users with Linkedin profile photo attract 21 times more profile views and receive up to 36 times more messages compared to those who don’t have a profile picture.
Not having a profile picture (or having a poor one) will probably cause an instant rejection.
For myself, I had to understand this:
With your profile photo, you are building credibility and trustworthiness about yourself.
This means a person (who might be your potential employer) who’ve just seen your profile picture should instantly perceive that you are reliable.
But what’s most important that makes you look reliable?
First, take take a look at photo specs.
Linkedin profile picture dimensions:
400 x 400 pixels
7680 x 4320 pixels
Up to 8 MB
How To Take a Linkedin Profile Photo At Home?
- Pick a casual outfit, but keep it formal.
- Wear makeup that doesn’t draw attention.
- Avoid other people in the picture.
- Smile – it helps to sell (yourself).
- Use timer or help of a friend.
- Crop tightly filling the frame with your head and shoulder area.
- Hire a professional photographer.
Pick a casual outfit, but keep it formal
In case you are not a lawyer, there is no necessity for a suit. The best choice would be picking an outfit you would normally wear for your job interview.
Avoid revealing or provocative clothing. For men, the best fit would be a button shirt or polo with a pair of matching pants.
An excellent choice for women would be a blouse with a pair of pants or pencil skirt.
After you wash and iron your clothes you are ready for the next step.
Wear makeup that doesn’t draw attention
You can skip this one if you are not going to wear one.
But if you are using makeup – make sure you don’t overdo it.
It shouldn’t call unnecessary attention to you. You don’t want the person to think that you were captured just before heading out to a night club. Make it subtle and keep the natural look on you.
Avoid other people in the picture
Other people in such pictures are simply distracting and can cause a misunderstanding. So double-check that you are the one absorbing all of the viewers’ attention.
Linkedin is different from other social media channels. If your potential employers would want to see your friends or relatives, they would find you on Facebook or Instagram. It’s not that difficult.
Likewise, if headhunters are checking your profile, that means they are interested about YOU, not your friends or your family members.
Smile – it helps to sell (yourself)
Genuine smile increases the appeal.
40% of job interviewers agreed that a lack of a smile can lead to not considering the candidate.
According to sales professionals, positive facial expressions builds trust and helps to sell. People tend to buy from those who are keeping a pleasant smile during the sales process.
On Linkedin, you are selling yourself to your potential future employers and all other important connections. Essentially, a smile is a sign of confidence. And acting confident may boost your actual self-assuredness in the future.
Use timer or the help of a friend
You can take your professional portrait using your smartphone or digital camera if you own one.
Today’s mobile phone cameras can easily take high-quality images suitable for your Linkedin. Just put it on something steady (a shelf or a table with a pile of extra books for height) and use the camera timer.
Another idea is to ask your friend or someone close to help you take your headshot.
What’s more, avoid distracting background and keep it smooth. We want our profile visitors to focus on us, not the background.
For more in-depth tips on how to perform the actual photoshoot, you can watch this video.
Crop tightly filling the frame with your head and shoulder area
When you have your portrait uploaded to the computer, it’s time to fill the Linkedin frame with it.
You can crop the image after you upload it to Linkedin. Their recommendation is to make sure that about 60% of the frame is containing your face.
Since it’s your headshot, crop out your body and leave just your head and shoulder area.
Besides, you can use Linkedin built-in tools to shape your profile picture – increase or decrease contrast, slightly add some filters or make it black and white. If you are using these adjustments, just remember to keep it simple.
Later you can use the same photo in different social media channels.
Headshots are a perfect personal marketing tool.
It would be also a great pick as an author’s portrait in your blog post, or just your personal photograph around the web. How cool is that?
Here’s an example photo of myself I took at home:
It’s not taken by a professional.
And yes, it’s not super sharp and doesn’t contain magazine-like quality.
However, I think it’s more than enough for Linkedin since it was taken in a living room.
All you have to do is to find a source of soft light. A great option is to stand in front of a window at home or use the natural light outside.
That’s exactly what I did.
I attached my camera to a tripod and set the timer for 10 seconds. I used natural light coming through the window and stood in front of the wall.
Then I added black and white effect (I preferred it without colors) and voila – my profile photo for Linkedin. The whole process took me about 15 minutes.
… or Hire a Professional Photographer
If you are not on a low budget, it’s always the best idea to hire a professional photographer.
Trust me. It’s a one kind of investment that will help you to make a career.
There are lots of technical things that we don’t usually think about – professional gear, light, background, composition, editing etc.
Remember, the mission of Linkedin is to connect the world’s professionals for their productivity and success. A clear, high-quality portrait of you is going to tell other people that you are going to be successful and make them believe in you.