If you are a professional, own a business or are looking for a job chances are you have a LinkedIn account.  LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms for professional networking.  The reason it is so popular is because it is extremely effective in making key connections that can land you a new job, acquire new customers, build your business’ reputation and help create beneficial relationships.  There is no denying that LinkedIn is an amazing tool IF it is used properly.

There are a ton of articles out there that can shed light on how to effectively use this platform, but for today I am going to focus on just one simple thing that can make a huge impact on the effectiveness of your profile.  Your profile picture.  This one picture is THE FIRST IMPRESSION someone is going to get of you, and trust me when I say first impressions are extremely important. Let me show you….

The LinkedIn Experiment (Part 1)

  • Open LinkedIn
  • Do a “People” search of a current profession or field
  • Pretend you are interested in hiring one of these people
  • What is the first thing you look at?

Studies have shown that we form our impression of someone within milliseconds of seeing their face.  MILLISECONDS!  We immediately form opinions about people based on a picture!  This means when it comes to social media sites like LinkedIn, a solid profile picture is KEY in making that first impression count.

The LinkedIn Experiment (Part 2)

  • Scroll through your search results and based on picture alone, choose someone who you would like to learn more about….
  • What does their profile picture look like?

Chances are you DID NOT choose the person with the awkward selfie or the person with the blurry image.  Nor did you choose the one with the weird filter or “bar, hanging with my friends” photo.  Most likely the person you were drawn to was professionally dressed, has a warm smile and has a well lit, professional headshot.

Your LinkedIn Challenge

  • Now, look at your you profile picture
  • What first impression are you making?

What does your profile say about you?  Be objective!  Does your photo portray someone you would actually hire or work with?  If it does, congratulations!  You are off to a great start – go ahead and get the rest of your profile working for you.  If you are one of the many folks who are still sporting that selfie, it’s time to make an upgrade to your profile.  Find a reputable photographer and make the small investment in a professional headshot and make a strong first impression.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Nothing makes a more professional first impression than a well-done professional headshot. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Jennifer Evans is a professional portrait photographer and owner of Fotoplicity, LLC, located in East Brunswick, NJ.  Do you need a professional headshot?  Fotoplicity holds Walk-In Headshot Clinics once a month.

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