The Do's and Don’ts of Shooting Your Own LinkedIn Headshot
If you're on the hunt for a new job, then it might be time to dress your LinkedIn profile up with a snazzy new headshot to let prospective employers know you're ready to make money moves. Luckily, you don't need a professional photographer on hand to take a job-winning photo. In fact, you can take your own LinkedIn photo at home with the help of a few inexpensive items. To help you get started, we've put together some Do's and Don'ts for taking your own LinkedIn headshot.
Do: Start With the Right Look
You might think you need to be wearing a business suit in your LinkedIn photo, but that's not always the case. When planning your photoshoot, think about the kind of jobs you're going for, and put together a look that lets people in your field of choice know you're the right candidate for them. For example, if you're looking for an opportunity in the finance world, then sure, a business suit is probably appropriate. But if you're going for something in the beauty and fashion world, for example, you can do something a little more fashion-forward to let companies know that style is important to you.
Do: Show Off Your Personality
Yes, you should look and be professional, but you should also show prospective employers what sets you apart from the pack. Remember, many job postings receive hundreds of applicants, so you only have a few seconds to make an impression before the recruiter moves on to other candidates. Try wearing a red or deep pink lipstick in your photo to highlight your dazzling smile and show that you are bold but also warm and friendly. If you don't feel like smiling or feel it's just not "you," that's fine too as long as you remember to "smize" (smile with your eyes) so you give off a more approachable vibe.
Do: Use a Quality Smartphone
There's no need for expensive camera equipment these days because if you have a smartphone on hand, you already have everything you need to take high-quality photos. Just be sure to get to know your camera phone in advance so you know which settings to use for the best result. For example, if you have a later-model iPhone, use Portrait Mode to avoid distractions in the background of your photo. Remember, this is just a headshot, so the only thing we need to see is you from the waist up; the rest is just background noise.
Do: Use Quality Lighting for Your Photo
Good lighting is essential if you want to take a great headshot. While natural lighting works great, it can also be unpredictable, so a ring light is a much better option you can use any time of day or night, in any kind of weather. The LITTIL Superstar Slim, for example, has 144 High Powered LEDs that provide three different light tones (warm, cool, and natural) and ten brightness levels to control the light in any setting. The best part is the height is adjustable, so you can illuminate any photo, whether you're sitting at a desk or standing against a backdrop.
If you're shooting outside and want a ring light you can pop right into your pocket, try the LITTIL Selfie One. This handy little must-have clips right to your smartphone so you can take the perfect LinkedIn shot anywhere, any time.
Do: Choose the Right Background
Since you are the main subject of your headshot, try to avoid backgrounds that are too distracting and take away from the focal point of the image, which is your smiling face. Your best bet is to shoot against a white wall or backdrop, but if you're looking for something a little more interesting, you can try bright solid colors, a brick wall, or even a vertical garden wall if you want to get fancy.
Do: Add Your New Photo to Your Resume
Now more than ever, job seekers are putting photos on their resumes and cover letters, so now that you have some great images handy, make the most of them! You likely have multiple good shots at the ready if you followed the above tips, so select one or two for your resume and CV, so you stand out no matter how recruiters find you.
Don't: Use Cutesy Social Media Filters
Yes, mouse ears, butterflies, and colorful text overlays are adorable, but they're unsuitable for a LinkedIn headshot, so save those for your IG page. Remember, you are trying to show your professional side, and companies won't be impressed by that fact you have little hearts flying around your face as you try to convey why you are the right person for the job.
Don't: Use Cropped Photos From Your Personal Social Media Accounts
Yes, that picture of you and your bestie getting ready to head out for the night looks great, and yes, it got you plenty of likes. But unless your bestie's arm is going out for the same job, it has no place in your LinkedIn Profile Photo.
Now that you have the tools you need to take that job-winning shot, get out there and find your dream job. Good luck!