Back in the past, before writing was even invented, people were communicating visually. What happened if you wanted to record a good battle? You could embroider a picture of it. Want to remember the time you fought, and beat, that huge mammoth? Simply save that for posterity on the cave wall. Even when writing became ‘a thing,’ the best way to reach the masses was with a visual depiction. And how do we know what Henry the Eighth or Mary Queen of Scots looked like? They posed for portraits (some more flattering than others, an early version of the filter maybe?).
Fast forward to today and we are still recording our achievements and memories visually, except now we are in the digital age of Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. It’s the place where opportunities knock, and first impressions are crucial. Just like our ancestors who adorned cave walls and canvases with their successes, your LinkedIn profile picture tells a story about you. So, don’t just let the words on your CV or LinkedIn profile do the talking – use a professional image.
Making a Memorable First Impression
When you go for a job interview, you take the time to pick out your best suit, tidy your hair, and rehearse your elevator pitch. After all, first impressions count. But before you even get to the interview, your potential employer has probably already checked you out on LinkedIn. Your profile picture is often the first thing they see. When you walk into that room, you want to be sure that the people you’re there to meet have a favourable impression of you, and your presence helps them recall all the great things they already know about you.
The Reality of LinkedIn Profile Pictures
Recent research showed that 9% of LinkedIn photos are selfies, and 15% are cropped out of photos with other people. While selfies can be fun on social media, they may not present the professional image you want for your LinkedIn profile. The cropped-out pictures might leave potential employers wondering who you were standing next to or what the context was. This ambiguity could cast a shadow over your qualifications.
The key thing to note is that LinkedIn research shows that having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. A Simple way to elevate your profile head and shoulders above everyone else.
The Impact of Professional Headshots
Professional headshots aren’t as expensive as you might think, and can you really put a price on your next career move? LinkedIn research has shown that profiles with professional headshots enjoy other significant advantages:
- 21 Times More Profile Views: A professional image catches the eye and encourages visitors to explore your profile further.
- 9 Times More Connection Requests: It signals to other professionals that you are serious and approachable.
- 36 Times More Direct Messages: A great headshot initiates conversations and networking opportunities.
Your Professional Image Matters
We might not be living in caves but visual communication continues to dominate and your LinkedIn profile picture is your digital calling card. It’s the first thing people notice, and it can significantly impact their perception of you. By investing in a professional headshot, you’re investing in your personal brand and your career. You’re telling the world that you’re serious, approachable, and ready for new opportunities.
So, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your career, don’t underestimate the power of headshots making a visual first impression on LinkedIn. Your image is your visual narrative, a testament to your professionalism, and a stepping-stone for meaningful connections and career advancement.