According to various sources having a head shot on LinkedIn can increase the chances of your profile being looked at in more detail by between 7 and 14 times. Like it or not others are making decisions regarding your profile photo, or lack of one.
The challenge is we may not be the best judge of choosing our own headshot.
If you want to get some anonymous feedback on your headshot in three main areas, Competent, Likeable and Influential you can use Photofeeler.com - a free site that gathers insights from others using the system. You can even get votes on different photos for different uses, such as dating sites!
Some profiles try to get quite creative with editing their photo's to include logo's or other wording. But in fact LinkedIn guidelines state;
Some examples of photos that shouldn't be used are:
- Company Logos
- Words or phrases
I wonder if that includes photo's of people holding their pet Chihuahua?!
You can read the full rules here - LinkedIn Profile Photo Guidelines.
The first key step is to ensure that you have good headshots. Usually I would recommend investing a little to get professional ones taken. It is not just the quality of the actual photo but also the expertise of the photographer that might save you from making any personal branding mistakes.
To understand how working with a headshot photographer the WinBusinessIn.com podcast from Mark Williams had a very useful interview and resources from John Cassidy the Headshot Guy you can access it here - Season 1, Episode 5: LinkedIn Profile Photo's With 'The Headshot Guy'
Remember the two key parts of your profile that are seen first and most are the profile photo and your headline. If one or both are not enticing then they may never go any further.
How much of an impression do other peoples profile photos make on you?
Here are two headshots I have used on my LinkedIn profile - which one do you prefer? Vote A or B in the comments below. (I will update the post later with the latest Photofeeler scores!).
Paul Copcutt has been described by Forbes magazine as a leading personal brand expert globally, and by clients as their “Rebel Guide", helping professionals, executives and entrepreneurs how to brand yourself. Visit his blog for over 500 free articles on personal branding or see where he is speaking next so you can check out his custom Converse Chuck Taylors .