What’s in a LinkedIn photo?
Want that Interview? 5 Ways to Nail Your First Impression
First impressions count! We all know it – yet nailing the best first impression can take some time, especially when you’re putting yourself out there on so many different channels. With your resume being all about your “do”, you can feel like there’s not a lot of room for a photo – which leaves hiring managers searching the web to get a visual. Your LinkedIn photo is one of your best shots at getting your foot in the door and into the minds of your prospective bosses, before you’ve even opened your mouth to introduce yourself. We’ve gathered top tips to ensure you’re set to impress, right from the get go!
Smile – with teeth!
There’s a science behind smiling! Research shows people who smile in photos exude a more approachable and professional vibe. In fact, psychologists from Princeton University found that it takes just a thousandth of a second to form an impression of someone when looking at a photo of their face.
Interestingly, a study found that a closed mouth smile was only half as likely to make you look more likeable, so let those pearly whites shine! But let’s not get too carried away, laughing in your picture could have a negative impact on your perceived competence and influence.
Less is more
Remember this is about YOU. You need to be front and center, the focus of attention (as per the usual). Make sure your background is plain with no distracting features that may outshine you, or keep the background simple and inviting. Best to avoid sunglasses, social engagements (even if you looked great at that wedding) and anything that isn’t “meeting ready”.
Keep the spotlight on your face.
This picture is all about you, but that doesn’t mean it has to include ALL of you. The best practice is to use a photo that shows you from the shoulders up. Now you might be thinking this means it’s the perfect excuse to take a selfie, but this is a big no no!
There’s three big problems when it comes to taking a selfie:
- Self-taken shots tend to be lower quality particularly when it comes to lighting.
- Selfies are associated with being laid-back and informal- not a good look for a professional shot.
- It’s lazy. Give the camera to someone else!
Grab a friend or a tripod and take a couple shots for yourself to really suss out the best look for you.
Keep it light!
Lighting plays a hugely important role in creating the perfect picture. Natural lighting, and out of direct sunlight gives the most flattering and natural look to your photo.
Not everyone can afford studio quality lighting or a pro photography crew to make sure all your best features are accentuated, so for those who plan to DIY, here’s a few quick lighting hacks:
- Consider Your Background- Like we mentioned before, a plain background is the best when it comes to making you the focus of attention. But the colour of the background can also affect the quality of the shot. If you have white walls or tiles use them! Strong colours like blue or red will leave a colour on your face that might not look the best. If you can’t find a white background, try find a background with softer colours for the next best results.
- Make the Most of Natural Light- Natural light that’s soft and diffused is always best. Try positioning yourself in front of light filtering in through a window. This will give your photos that magic glowing touch.
- Keep Lights at Eye-Level- Light sources coming from eye-level are the most flattering for faces. Lights from above can create unattractive shadows and from below can make you look like the kid from the Exorcist.
PROTIP: Avoid filters – your instagram profile should have no cross over with your LinkedIn profile.
Dress To Impress
Professional clothing is a must. I hate pulling out the iron, but for the purpose of a LinkedIn profile you need to be looking the part. Research found that wearing formal dress was the biggest factor when it came to raising your perceived competence and influence. Collars are particularly important for framing your face – rounded necklines make your face look rounder (and who wants that), whereas straighter collars make your face look more angular.
Pro Tip: In one word, the key to nailing your look is simplicity. When it comes to doing hair and makeup, don’t overdo it. Your bosses need to recognise you on interview day! For your work-wear, take some inspiration from places like Uniqlo and H&M. Their clothing is sleek and simple. This kind of look appeals to a wider audience, and we want you to be raking in as much attention as you can!
Bottomline: Your pic is a powerful tool that shouldn’t be underestimated. Despite its power, don’t forget to make the rest of your resume shine. Consider using a template in Canva, or approaching a graphic designer to give you the extra special edge that will get you noticed in a pool of applicants. Good luck and happy hunting!
Author Bio: Judy is the Practice Manager at Inner West Orthodontics in Sydney. Judy loves to see the amazing change in patients post treatment – especially their self esteem boost! In her spare time you can catch Judy in the garden or at her local pilate studio.