Having a professional headshot on your LinkedIn profile is key for getting contacted by recruiters. Studies have shown that it only takes one tenth of a second for someone to draw conclusions of you based on your photo.
If you don’t look the part, you will not receive a job invite. While it is nice to have actual professional headshots, it can be costly. The good news is that you can actually do it yourself! Recruiters are not looking for a model-worthy shot, they just want to see what kind of presence you give and if you truly are a professional.
Nowadays, smart phones have terrific photo quality, so you can now take your own headshots. We have 4 tips on how you can take a professional headshot without hiring a photographer:
1. Find a Good Background
Find either a well-lit plain wall or a simple wall outside like a concrete or brick wall. It is important to avoid direct sunlight or overhead light as it can create unflattering shadows and make you look washed out.
2. Set Up Your Camera
If you don’t have someone to take the photo for you, you can easily take one yourself using your phones timer settings (NEVER post a selfie on LinkedIn). You can set up your camera on a tripod or even a stack of books for a steady angle.
3. Get Into Position
You want to make sure that your face levels with the camera. The photos that do the best are ones that show your head to shoulder, or head to waist. Create an angle with your body so that your torso is angled slightly away from the camera. Make sure that you are smiling, and making eye contact with the camera.
4. Perfect Your Photo
After you have taken plenty of photos, pick a few of your favorites to edit them. You can directly edit an image right in your smartphone photos! You can brighten, sharpen, and straighten an image. You can even use an app like Facetune to blur out your background, edit the color balance, and fix any blemishes.
If you can’t decide which photo to use, consider trying out the app Photofeeler. You can get feedback on your photos from unbiased voters. They evaluate the photos based on three dimensions: perceived competence, likability, and influence.
Aside from your headshot, optimizing your LinkedIn is vitally important in this process. At D&S Professional Coaching, we partner with executives around the world to create highly effective job search tools to compete for top positions.