Your LinkedIn photo is more important than you think and having a professional LinkedIn headshot made for you matters. It’s the first impression that can determine if LinkedIn users will even read your profile. To get it right, first it’s important to consider LinkedIn specifications for the photo.
LinkedIn Profile Photo Requirements
Currently, LinkedIn has a maximum file size of 8MB. This means uploading a print-quality 8×10” is unlikely. Your profile photo is to be sized between 400 (w) x 400 (h) pixels and 7,680 (w) x 4,320 (h) pixels. This square format ends up with a tight circular crop once uploaded. They also recommend a file type of PNG or JPG. Other formats are not supported.
While it appears the photo is a small thumbnail, it’s important to know that people can click on the photo to enlarge it. So, the quality will matter. Here are five things to consider to be sure you get a good LinkedIn headshot.
Find the Best Headshot Photographer
This can be trickier than you think. In the photography market, there are few barriers to entry to become a photographer. This is why in Los Angeles alone there are supposedly more than 1,200 photographers, though only a handful are good or professional-grade. With a little homework, you can find a good headshot photographer that is also affordable.
Dress to Suit Your Brand
Whether you wear a suit or casual shirt should be weighed against the brand-image you want to convey. Remember that your profile photo is literally your first impression on LinkedIn. A poor image of you can literally stop someone from even reading your profile.
So, consider the industry you are in or are targeting and dress that part. Another popular theory here is to dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
Appear Approachable and Confident
Self-confidence is instrumental and it’s important to show it. This can be as simple as having good posture, a nice smile and also a relaxing look. Usually, if you take care of looking self-confident, looking approachable takes care of itself.
People usually want to be around other people that are confident and not the opposite of it. This can make your profile photo stand out that much more.
Be Sure of the Background
The background – not the background LinkedIn image, rather the setting of your headshot – is tight. But it still can be a factor in the overall look you’re after. Consider keeping it simple so the focus stays on you. But, not too simple. For example, you might want to avoid a plain white background, so it doesn’t appear to be a re-used passport photo. Again, consider the brand-image you’re after.
Use the Correct Photo to Upload
Once you finish your headshot session, you’ll select the best one to use for your profile. You will need to factor in the crop and size restrictions of LinkedIn. Ideally your photographer can provide online-optimized photos.
Remember you can repurpose your headshots too – they aren’t just for LinkedIn. So, get the most out of your session with your photographer. You can post them to a company website, for other resume sites, or even for social media profiles.
The quality of your LinkedIn profile matters. More and more employers and recruiters rely on it to make hiring decisions. Whether it’s right or wrong to first judge you by your photo, it happens all the time. So, be sure your profile photo gets your overall profile off to a great first impression.