The importance of a professional headshot for LinkedIn

I am writing about this topic not just as a headshot photographer but also as someone who has spent over 10 years as a recruiter for some of the world's top consulting companies (Accenture, Hitachi Consulting, SAP). It has been my job to view and make quick determinations on whether someone is a suitable candidate for my companies hiring needs.

At the beginning of my time in recruiting this determination was made primarily based on a person's resume but this has changed over the last 5+ years.  For the most part, the resume doesn't come into the picture until after someone has seen your profile on LinkedIn and they have made the determination that you could be a qualified candidate. It takes me a matter of seconds to view a LinkedIn profile and decide whether or not the person should be interviewed. This is not unusual in the recruiting profession. 

The primary point of my post is related to the image you choose for LinkedIn. This is the very first thing that someone looks at when they visit your LinkedIn profile and if you only have the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager for a few seconds you better make your image count. 

Here are a few things to consider to hopefully drive my point home...

  • First impressions matter. Where 2 candidates are equally qualified, image quality will give you an edge. 

  • A sub par image will be more likely to hurt your chances to get an interview, even if you are completely qualified for the position.

  • Borderline qualifications will be less likely to hurt you if you have a professional image.

I am not making the argument that you need to be "model" status to get someone's attention. The fact that you care about your image and want to present yourself in a professional manner carries a lot of weight. 

What do you need in a professional headshot for LinkedIn? 

  • Good lighting, genuine expression, eye contact. 
  • Keep it professional. This might seem like a no-brainer but you'd be surprised! 
  • LinkedIn recommends an image sized at 400x400px but mine is 500x500px and looks fine. Maximum size is 4MB. Every professional photographer should be able to give you this size image.

If you live in the Metro Atlanta area and need a headshot then send me a message.

If you are on LinkedIn and want to connect then send me an invite. Here's a link to my profile

If you would like me to check out your LinkedIn profile image to get some feedback then include a link to your profile in the comment section. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for future post. 

Tom

Tom F Watson2 Comments