There’s a lot of science behind the notion of having a proper headshot for your LinkedIn profile, I get it. I really do.
Having once been the main recruiter for a Domiciliary Care company, I’d get a lot of CVs and every once in a while they’d be a passport sized headshot on the top of one. Now, I’m a bit long in the tooth so CV writing from my world was very much keeping all dates and experiences to two pages, with a catchy “about me” bit, but never once did we include photos. As I further developed my role into HR and recruitment, there was a lot of bias placed on not including certain information in a CV to avoid potential prejudice.
While including a headshot on a CV feels alien to me, uploading a photo to accompany a LinkedIn profile is commonplace. In fact, studies show that a LinkedIn profile with a headshot is 40% more likely to attract a potential recruiter. And then comes the science because not any old profile picture will do. It’s important to pick a LinkedIn profile photo strategically so that it helps, rather than hurts, your job prospects!
There’s books on this stuff! Experts hold educationals on how to take the best profile pic! It’s not a simple upload like facebook and there’s certainly no duckface! You have to take into consideration the framing and the resolution as well as the age of the photo and ensuring the image of you is current and not catfishy. You can’t have anybody else in the photo and shouldn’t attempt to crop other people out as your pic needs to an exact size. Your face needs to be the focal point of the image, which sounds obvious but there’s a social media culture now where hair and accessories along with filters help us hide our insecurities – the irony being these insecurities tend to stem from social media in thee first place.
It’s even suggested that you should apply subtle filters and that slight changes to the tone and lighting and the softening of blemishes to improve the overall look and feel of a photo without drastically altering your image too much. You’ll look better and therefore become more employable! That grosses me out a little. What grosses me out more is the amount of “experts” who suggest apps such as Photofeeler to ensure you look “attractive, smart, trustworthy, fun, confident, and [ultimately] employable.”
None of this sits comfortably with me. It feels a bit judgy that somebody might only employ my creative services based on my look but I’m putting the science to the test: I’ve amended my LinkedIn profile to see if the change helps me interact with other like-minded artists and ultimately, gives me the 40% leg-up to land me some work. I’ve compromised and went with this slightly enhanced one that I feel sums me up as well as promotes me work rather than just my face…
*warning: mug shot may cause distress