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I’m sure you’ve seen them, the “head shots” of your business connections—colleagues, classmates, friends, and casual acquaintances—that are from a vacation, a casual shot taken by a friend, or a shot that’s just too jovial for a serious business profile. And you have also seen the photos of your connections who took the time to spend 20-30 minutes with a professional photographer to give themselves the most professional-looking profile photo they can.
The professionally shot photo is always going to impress more than the casual shots taken on beaches, in parks, or smiling across the table at a friend while out for dinner. Like it or not, we are living in an era of fast first impressions. In a May 2014 scholarly article for the journal Psychological Science, the authors of a study on first impressions found that viewers form an impression of a profile photo within 40-miliseconds. It’s reasonable to say, then, that your photo makes your first impression in the blink of an eye.
I’ve recently been expanding my reach on LinkedIn, the go-to business networking service. A few of my connections work for banks or investment companies, and I’ve noticed that not only are their profile photos professionally shot, so too are the photos of their colleagues whose image and name appear in the “you might also know” recommended connections. It’s clear that there is a level of professionalism that extends from the way these people do their jobs to the image they put out on their business profiles.
The viewer of your profile photo not only assesses it quickly, they see in your photo clues about your personality. The clothes you are wearing in the photo, the background setting, how far you are from the camera (or how far you appear to be as a result of cropping), whether your photo has been converted to Black & White, and even the quality of the JPEG image, all say something about you to the average viewer. An up-to-date photo helps when you walk in the door for an interview and you look much the same in person as you do in your photo. You’re going to look older in person if you’re still using a photo from a few years ago; it’s possible some recruiters or hiring managers could see use of an older photo—in which you look younger—as deceptive.
An Inc.com article, Why You Should Never Put These 3 Words on Your LinkedIn Profile, while focused on what you write in your profile cites “bad/no profile photo” among the list of mistakes people make with their profiles.
Robert Pearson Photography offers professional profile photos for a reasonable price, with quick turn-around. You can leave our studio with your photo on a memory key or have it waiting in your inbox when you get home. The service gives you up to 30 minutes in front of the camera, with a wardrobe change or two if you have time, and delivered images processed for both print and online networking.
Book your session today!