The idea of having a professional headshot shouldn’t be surprising, especially on the professional platform of LinkedIn. I’m amazed every time I see company owners—small business as well as corporate figures—with photos that betray too relaxed an attitude.
Putting a picture on a profile is a must for branding, and as part of a profile for an online resume. The first thought I have every single time I see a no-profile-image LinkedIn request is that it’s spam. I double-check to make sure I know the person to be sure, but is that the first thing you want anyone to associate with your networking request?
Without not only a headshot but also a professional headshot, an individual has little hope of being taken seriously.
I don’t mean to offend any of my friends or associates on my social media accounts, but please take my advice to heart. I say this with the purest of intentions to help you best brand your business and yourself online.
Here are the top three worst types of headshots that I’ve seen on LinkedIn:
1. The in-the-car selfie shot.
Seriously? You want your future employer to see a photo you snapped of yourself with your camera phone? The backlighting isn’t the only thing wrong with this picture. For best practice, any selfie shot is a no-no.
2. The cropped-out boyfriend or girlfriend shot.
Please save us the distraction of trying to figure out whose head was formerly attached to the shoulders standing next to you. No amount of cropping will hide the fact that you used a personal snapshot as your headshot. Find a friend to take a photo of you if you can’t hire a professional photographer, but don’t resort to the photo your friend tagged you in from last week’s outing.
3. A photo of more than just your head.
This includes the gratuitous boob shots as well as group shots and shots of you with your adorable pet or baby. When I see an invite or a connection request from a lovely lady showing just how lovely she is in her profile photo, I assume it’s poorly targeted spam. Unless you work with animals or as a childcare provider, LinkedIn photos shouldn’t show off your progeny (fur babies either). Even if you work for an animal rescue or as an adoption agent you should stick with a professional headshot.
My current headshots (professional as well as my “casual” one) were taken by Rose Riot Photography.