No doubt you have already heard or read about the importance of uploading a professional-looking photograph to be used in your profile Introduction Card (the first information people see when looking you up).
While you may think it is nice to show the "real" you, LinkedIn is predominantly a business platform. And so the overly-casual Facebook-style photos rarely work here.
LinkedIn's own studies have shown that profiles with professional photos receive 14 times the views and engagement of profiles that do not, which again shows how important they are.
While you may be tempted to take your own pictures, they rarely measure up to commercial standards. Selfies are easily spotted, as your arm can be seen extended or your shoulder contorted. People have often resorted to using their phones attached to their dashboards, but that only produces the "look, I'm driving a car" shot. Which may be fine if you are applying to work for Uber or Meals On Wheels. In other instances, there may be shadows on your face or distracting images in the background.
Having your headshots taken by a commercial photographer is well worth the time and effort. They know how best to pose you, they have the proper lighting, and they take many shots from which you can choose. They are also relatively inexpensive compared to what these services charged in the past. Don't forget that these are not one-use images either. You can use your photos in any of your advertising and marketing materials.
But there is one thing you should do when utilizing the services of a professional photographer, and most people neglect this.
When you call to book your appointment, ask them for advice on the clothing and colors you should be wearing.
Men admittedly never give this much of a thought. Their professional attire is usually limited to boring blacks, greys and dark blues.
Women, on the other hand, are attuned to clothing that matches their hair color and complexion (i.e., are they a "spring" or an "autumn").
Give the photographer a brief description of what you look like. Ask them what color backdrops they will be using. They'll give you some guidance as to what to bring.
And it wouldn't hurt to bring two or three changes of clothing. Remember that they'll only be shooting you from the chest up, so you don't need to bring the entire ensemble — just the tops.
Giving the photographer a choice avoids potential problems and provides backup plans.
I saw one profile photo where the background was a dark blue or grey, and the subject wore a blue shirt and a dark brown sport coat. It looked horrible, as there was no contrast and everything blended together.
Going to a studio photographer is the first step towards having a picture that will make LinkedIn work for you. And taking that extra effort of selecting your clothing choices with the photographer in advance will ensure a successful session.
© 2019 Michael Marrer, Silver Lake Wordsmiths & Marrer Enterprises, Inc.