In this day and age of Instagram, photos really are worth a thousand words. But while your personal user photo for Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter can be casual (or self-ied out), you might want to hesitate about using that same photo for your LinkedIn profile. Why?

The answer is quite simple. Your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter profiles are used mainly for personal use. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is used only for professional networking. Just as if you’re heading to a job interview, you wouldn’t wear shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt, right? It’s that same scenario when it comes to your LinkedIn profile photo. It’s important to look professional so when a recruiter or HR person comes across your profile, you’ll make a good first impression so they’ll want to read your profile. If you’re wondering about getting headshots done, the answer is YES.

When it comes to what makes a good headshot photo, here are our tips:

Find an appropriate background to convey the right mood. Depending on what occupation you have, it’s important to choose a background that’ll be right for you. If you’re a corporate lawyer or executive, using a dark gray or dark blue background is more appropriate than using a bright-colored background. Dark colors come across as being serious or thoughtful. If you’re an event planner or graphic designer, using a yellow or light blue background tends to stand out more amidst neutral backgrounds and conveys the feeling of being cheerful, relaxed, or creative. Think about what audience you’re targeting and it will help you choose what message you’re trying to convey.

how to choose a background for your headshot


Remember to smile with your eyes. As the saying goes, the eyes are “the windows to the soul.” If you’re posing without a smile, you can come across as angry if your eyes have no expression. If you’re smiling but your eyes aren’t, it can make you seem stiff or forced. This is why we always emphasize on this point, regardless if we ask for a smile, a half-smile or one without.  

Use a tight crop on your image. Profile photos tend to be small—there’s no reason you need to include a full body shot where no one will be able to see your face. If they’re not viewing your profile on their computer, it’s on their phone and they won’t be able to recognize you if they can’t see your face properly. Use a photo that’s cropped from your shoulders to just a little above your head.

cropped headshot vs uncropped

Dress appropriately. If you’re an executive, it makes sense to wear a full suit and tie. But what if you’re a video editor or marketing manager? Do you have to wear the suit jacket, dress shirt, and tie? It depends. Just like finding the right background, think about what audience you’re targeting and what message you’re trying to convey.

Keep your photo updated. The job interview is set up, and when you arrive, the person you’re meeting is surprised by your appearance. If you’ve done anything noticeably different—like changing your hair color from blonde to brunette—it’s important to keep your photo up to date. Or, if you wear glasses, do use them in your photo as well. You won’t come across as being credible or confident if your photo looks like anything but you.

Are you interested in getting headshots for your LinkedIn profile? Book a no-fee session here:

Book Headshot Session

By | 2015-11-02T22:43:53+00:00 November 2nd, 2015|Big Apple Portraits, Headshots|Comments Off on Headshots, Why Do Them Professionally?
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