How to Take a Perfect LinkedIn Headshot

Do you have a headshot you’re proud to use as your LinkedIn profile picture? Something that’s going to make recruiters across the land nod with approval?

If not, it’s time to get a makeover and arrange for a photo shoot. In the age of social media, first impressions online are no less important than how you present yourself during an interview. Here’s a quick guide on how to take a perfect headshot for LinkedIn.

Hire a Professional

It’s pretty tempting to be your own photographer with your smartphone. After all, it’s just a matter of combing your hair, standing up against the wall of your living room, and letting the magic of selfies and filters solve the profile picture conundrum for you, right?

Unfortunately, LinkedIn isn’t Instagram or Facebook, and people are likely to notice the difference between a professional headshot and something that came from your cell phone. Things like lighting, background, and posture are best handled and directed by those who really know what’s what. Not to mention, a professional photographer will have the equipment and software to make your photos look better than what you could do on your own.

Follow Your Industry’s Style Norms

If you work in the tech industry and spend your lunch breaks enjoying gourmet coffee with your colleagues, a more hip, casual style is likely to go down well. If, on the other hand, you work on Wall Street, you’d best leave the flannel shirt for the weekend and wear a crisp suit instead.

Every industry has its own norms for appropriate presentation and style. The more your LinkedIn profile photo matches those expectations, the more likely you are to be seen as a savvy professional who understands the rules of the game.

Aim for Upbeat and Friendly

You may feel you look your best when you’re smoldering intensely at the camera, but the purpose of your LinkedIn profile is to land you interviews with employers, not to stun or frighten them with a tough, no-nonsense gaze.

As a general rule, you want to balance looking approachable and professional in order to take a perfect headshot. A gentle smile and lighthearted expression is the right choice here, with research from the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology suggesting that people will consider you more trustworthy when you smile.

Accentuate Your Best Features

A big part of taking a headshot involves knowing how to highlight your best features and disguising any you’re less than proud of. For instance, if you’re worried about the camera adding some weight to your arms, hold your hands on your hips to make your upper arms appear slimmer. This is also a great way to accentuate your waist and hide any stubborn fat you may have on your hips.

To hide a double chin, keep your shoulders back and tilt your head slightly forward and down—this will create a shadow under your jaw and minimize the appearance of any fat there. Additionally, turning your body so you’re facing the camera at a 45-degree angle can make you appear slimmer and disguise any unflattering areas.

If you want to minimize the problem areas you see in photos for good, you could benefit from using a noninvasive laser treatment like SculpSure® for safe and effective fat reduction. That includes your double chin.

With these tips, you’ll have the perfect LinkedIn headshot to impress your professional network and future employers alike. Happy job hunting!

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