Dos and Don’ts of the “Headshot”

While scrolling through my LinkedIn connections, it doesn’t take me long to find a profile picture that makes me wince. The problem has been getting worse and worse in the age of selfies, which prompted my post. Here are some general dos and don’ts of taking headshots for LinkedIn.

Don’t:

  • Take the photo yourself–Whether from a phone or computer cam, your picture will NEVER look professional. No matter which filter you use, there’s no substitute for a professional photographer.
  • Crop an existing photo–We can still see the shoulder of the person standing next to you, which means even though you think you look professional in the picture, you don’t.
  • Invite your spouse–Especially on LinkedIn and other professional social media outlets, it’s important to make sure your face is the only one in the profile picture. Save the “happy couple” pictures for Facebook and Instagram.

Do:

  • Hire a photographer–Most photographers are hired pretty reasonably for headshots. A photographer will be able to tell you what looks good on you as well as the best lighting, all components for a flattering picture.
  • Choose colors that flatter–Stay in your “season” when dressing for your headshot. Don’t know your season? Find out here.
  • Look like you–It’s important that you’re recognizable. This rule also pertains to life changes. If you’ve lost or gained weight or haven’t had a headshot done in 20 years, chances are you need a new one taken so that you’re recognizable.
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