If you’ve spent much time reviewing profiles on LinkedIn, you've probably noticed just how many people use snapshots or selfies as their profile photo. These types of photos are great and can be lots of fun. But, they belong on social websites like Facebook and Instagram. When you use selfies on LinkedIn you’re not sending the best possible message to potential employers.
First Impressions in the Twenty-first Century
You’ve heard it many times before, we only get one chance to make a first impression and wouldn’t you prefer to make the best impression possible? You are probably thinking that in business first impressions are always made during interviews, but these days that’s not always true. In today's high-tech, online world it's very likely that your first impression was made when the employer discovered your LinkedIn profile. With that in mind, do you believe your first impression was a great one? Could it have been better?
Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words
While you may not realize it, photographs are a form of communication and how you portray yourself in your professional profile photo really does matter. Think of it like this, would you go to your interview wearing your bathing suit or your favorite team's jersey? The answer is you probably wouldn’t. So, when you're trying to convey professionalism to attract employers, it wouldn't make sense to use a selfie from your last fishing trip!
Employers are not only looking for someone with all the necessary skills, they are also seeking someone who is professional, who is responsible – someone who represents the company’s core values. We all want to communicate with professionalism – not only in our resumes but also in the images of our profiles.
In such a competitive world, there's a chance that your profile photo could make the difference between you and another candidate. Employers typically screen many candidates and when they come across a candidate that is willing to go the extra mile, they typically take notice! Also, when so many people use snapshots or smartphone selfies, having a professional portrait can make you standout simply from a visual perspective. Why wouldn’t you want that advantage?
Additionally, why spend all that time and effort to perfect your resume only to use a substandard profile photo that doesn’t compliment those efforts? You can be the complete package. This shows that you care about how you present yourself to others and that you are truly professional.
Invest in Yourself, Invest in Your Future
Of course you could have a friend or family member take a photo of you wearing your most professional outfit but chances are it won't look as good as you had hoped and it won't convey that sense of professionalism you are trying to achieve.
Professional photographers invest a lot of time, energy and money to study and prefect their craft. A great photographer takes the time to understand your needs and goals so they can provide you with the appropriate photographs to achieve them. They skillfully assist you in looking your absolute best. From posing and lighting techniques to advanced software and equipment, a professional photographer can deliver excellent results consistently. As you can see from the photo above, the difference is significant!
While you may consider professional photographs an unnecessary expense, you should really think of them as an investment. A professional portrait taken by a skilled photographer is what completes the package.
About James Jollay
James is a commercial photographer based in Skippack, Pennsylvania. He provides architectural photography services to designers, architects, and contractors. He also provides individuals, business professionals, models and actors with portrait and headshot services. To learn more about James, visit his website: www.jamesjollay.com | Follow James on Instagram: @jamesjollay