Should you smile in your LinkedIn profile photo?

We have lost count of how many LinkedIn profile photos we have captured for London clients over the years. Our usual approach to each headshot commission is to capture a batch of portraits with a serious expression and then another batch with plenty of smiling. This gives the client the choice to use either on their LinkedIn profile. We were asked the other day if you should smile in your profile photo. After thinking about this we are not sure and would always suggest that it is down to your personal choice and what best fits with your character and profession.

This got us thinking and we decided to do some research. Having found a video about how to make a great LinkedIn profile and it revealed some interesting points about whether you should smile in your LinkedIn profile photo. In the video by Lieven Buyse a communication trainer, he tells you about a service called photofeeler.com. This allows you to upload your LinkedIn profile photo and a group of people rank the headshot on three criteria. Likeability, influence and competence. He uploaded his current LinkedIn profile photo which he is not smiling and it ranked 88% competent 88% influential and 47% likeable. He then uploaded a headshot where he was smiling as he wanted to improve the likeable score. This ranked 60% likeable but the competent score dropped to 76% and the influential score dropped to 70%. He decided to use the profile photo where he was not smiling on his LinkedIn profile as he decided being competent and influential was more important in business than being likeable.

 

Serious no smile expression to look professional in your LinkedIn profile photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We found this really interesting for future advice to clients that potentially a smiling profile photo could actually produce a negative response to your LinkedIn profile. As mentioned earlier you have to use the right expression for your business sector. For example, if you work in legal or financial sectors you might want to appear approachable but think about what potential clients want from you. They might be trusting you with legal matters or after financial advice so it is critical that you appear competent and professional in your LinkedIn profile photo.

 

LinkedIn Background Photo

Why do I need to add a background photo to my LinkedIn profile page?

Adding a background/cover/banner photo to your LinkedIn page will help make your profile look more professional and give a better impression to the viewer. If you do not add a background photo and leave your profile with the default background image, your profile looks incomplete and unprofessional.

How do I know what to use as a background photo?

LinkedIn is a database and business social media platform. Your profile page needs to reflect which business sector you work in. Along with your profile photo, your background image needs to indicate to anyone viewing your profile page that you are a professional working in a certain business role.

Where can I get a good background photo or image?

You can pay a professional photographer or illustrator to create a background image. This allows you to have a unique image that is tailored to exactly fit your requirements. If your budget does not run to this then you can buy a royalty-free image from a growing number of picture libraries. You can also search for non watermarked images that you do not have to pay any copyright fees to use.

How do I add my background photo?

Login into LinkedIn. Go to your profile page. Click on the camera icon that is in the top right corner of your default background image. Click on ‘Upload photo’ then select the image you want to use from your computer and click apply. If you want to replace, delete or reposition your background photo then follow this process again.

What size does my background photo need to be?

The ideal size for your background image is 1584 W x 396 H in pixels. The file size needs to be smaller than 8MB and it needs to be formatted as a JPG, GIF or PNG file.

What is the best kind of LinkedIn background photo?

LinkedIn suggests that photos work better than images with logos. If you want to use your business logo as a background image try and capture it in a photo. Make sure your photo is crisp and sharp. Low-resolution photos will look pixelated and blurred. Use photoshop or other photo software to improve your photo and to resize to best fit the LinkedIn background format.

This is a LinkedIn background photo we created to demonstrate that we supply corporate headshots for our London clients to use on their company websites and their individual LinkedIn profile pages.

LinkedIn background banner cover photo sample.

LinkedIn background banner cover photo sample.

For further information please visit the LinkedIn Help page about background photos.

 

 

 

 

LinkedIn Profile Photo Tips & Ideas.

Why do I need a LinkedIn profile photo?

The first thing people will look at on your LinkedIn profile page will be your photo. This is not unique to LinkedIn it applies to any website or book that has photos or pictures in it. An image can convey information quicker than the written word, therefore the eye goes directly to them.

It is for this reason that if you do not upload your profile photo your page will look like it is missing something and this will make it look unprofessional.

What sort of profile photo is best for my LinkedIn page?

You need to have a profile photo that makes you look professional and approachable. It is a very good idea to invest some time and effort into getting the right look for your LinkedIn page. If it is within budget then hire a corporate portrait photographer. This will show you at your best as the photographer will have a high-quality portrait lens,  soft studio lighting and a crisp white background.

Can I take my LinkedIn profile photo?

If you want to capture your own headshot then ask a friend to do it for you. Ask them to photograph you out of direct sunlight to avoid harsh shadows and squinting eyes. Use a plain uncluttered background. Selfies are not ideal as they can appear amateurish.

What should I be wearing?

What you choose to wear should be in line with your business sector. Make an effort but do not go over the top as you do not want your clothing to distract the viewer.

Where should I take my profile photo?

The first choice would be in an office environment. This will endorse that you are a business professional. Another option is to take your photo in the commercial part of a city. Have office buildings in the background. A plain wall with a neutral colour is always a safe option.

LinkedIn profile photo set in The City near St Pauls in London LinkedIn profile photo set in London offices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I use an old photo of me that I like?

Your LinkedIn profile photo needs to be as current as possible. Old holiday or family photos are not suitable for LinkedIn as they are not relevant to your business profile.

Can I use photo software to improve my profile photo?

Get the profile photo as good as possible when you take it. You can remove any minor imperfections like spots, blemishes or stains on clothing. Do not adjust any of your features or body shape as this can look misleading to anyone who knows you or meets you for the first time.

If you have any further questions or queries please email us.

How to get a professional LinkedIn photo in London.

A step by step guide on how to get a professional LinkedIn photo in London.

Professional LinkedIn headshot captured in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do I book my LinkedIn photo session?

Get in touch with us here and we will book you in for your professional headshot.

Where will the headshot be taken?

You have 2 options.

  1. You come to our London studio space.
  2. We bring our studio setup to your London offices or home. Our mobile studio setup includes a background with professional lighting and a portrait lens and camera.

How long will the LinkedIn photo session last?

Each session lasts 30 mins and we capture approx 40 images.

What do I need to bring?

Any change of outfits you might want to wear. LinkedIn headshot wardrobe guide.

What happens during the LinkedIn photo session?

You will be given guidance on stance and poses. We capture a range of facial expressions so you have a wide choice of headshots to choose your favourite.

When do I get my LinkedIn photo?

Approx 24 hours after your session we will send you preview images of all your headshots via a secure download link.

If you want any retouching or airbrushing we can complete this for you within 24 hours.

How do I pay for my professional LinkedIn photo?

After the headshot session, we email you our invoice which you can settle via bank transfer or credit card.

What if I want a certain style of professional LinkedIn photo?

We can replicate any headshot style you require. You just need to send us a sample of what you require or you can look at the different corporate headshot options we have to offer.

Will I need a makeup artist?

No need anymore. Our professional retouching and airbrushing service can make you look your best without it being seen that the headshot has been photoshopped.

Retouching process on LinkedIn professional headshot.