Managing your digital brand in today's connected world is one of your most important business activities. After all, your web-presence is how the world perceives you.
It is a fact that your headshot will be examined several times, long before any c.v. is read. And, as research shows1, impressions are formed within milliseconds of seeing your picture.
Profile pictures don't simply provide a visual reference: they communicate who you are professionally. Good headshots transmit a wealth of subliminal messages, giving the audience subtle information on the type of team-player you are.
So how does your LinkedIn Headshot support your professional profile?
It might be a leap but I'm going to assume you've considered the image on your LinkedIn page and haven't simply popped a half decent 'wedding snap' onto your profile.
If you want to project seniority and gravitas then a dark background can be your friend. Add a smart tie, well cut suit and shirt and the image oozes trustworthiness.
It creates an impression of careful consideration: someone with attention to detail. Highly professional and knowledgeable, this is someone you can trust with important projects. They are unlikely to take risks or make rash decisions.
A neutral head position (neither tilted forward or back) and warm, friendly expression communicates openness; someone who's approachable and a good team player.
Light, high-key backgrounds create a high energy feel to any image. Add a business suit and the impression is one of a dynamic, forward thinking, problems solving organisation.
An engaging smile, direct and open eye contact and the image conveys intelligence: an individual that is full of ideas. Clearly confident and personable, this individual is an asset to any team.
These portraits are particularly good for individuals and organisations that provide high quality advice. The ideal impression if you wish to work for a consultancy firm.
And if you want to move up in the organisation (partner even) then what better way to stand out than a profile picture that attracts new clients?
Dynamic, resourceful, entrepreneur.
Combining a dark background with an open shirt sends out a series of complex messages. This is an individual with hidden depths.
Winning smile and twinkling eyes indicate intelligence, friendliness and fun. The dark background adds gravitas: so this is a person who is fun with a serious business side.
It's a perfect portrait for entrepreneurs: individuals who wish to convey an open personality combined with clear vision, determination and business experience.
1. Princeton University: First Impressions: Making Up Your Mind After a 100-Ms Exposure to a Face
Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov https://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S15/62/69K40/index.xml?section=topstories