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    Linked In – why your headshot and profile matter

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        Linked In. If you’re seeking employment or looking to employ, it’s a platform you won’t want to ignore. When it comes to Linked In, we’ve seen everything from the bizarre and the brilliant, right through to the hilarious and then downright inappropriate.

        Here we take a look at why the wording of your Linked In profile matters. And why it needs absolutely, positively must be accompanied by a killer headshot.

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        Linked In Profile – get it right

        Getting your Linked In profile wrong right is not a risk you can afford to take. It’s often one of the first places employers look when seeking candidates. In fact, an increasing number of business owners are choosing to advertise their vacancies on Linked In. 

        Your Linked In profile is not something you can put together in ten minutes. You’ll need to set aside some time to get it right. You’ll need to put forward a lot of key information, all in one smart and succinct chunk of text. It will need to include who you are, your job title, and a compelling summary of what you’ve got to offer. Ideally, your audience should be able to skim read it in under thirty seconds. Provide insight into your qualities and how they can benefit your target audience. For example, why are you different? Why would someone want to know more about you? These are some key pointers if you want others to find out more about you instead of swiping left…

        Pardon the pun, but we shouldn’t have to spell it out; spelling and grammar mistakes are unacceptable. Period.

        Linked In Headshot – get it right

        Say cheese! It’s time to discuss the all-important headshot. Let’s get one thing clear; there is no point spending hours pouring over the wording of your Linked In profile, only to add a picture of yourself taking a selfie with your dog. It’s pointless. The picture you use must be appropriate, well-choreographed and a true reflection of you. 

        Whether you think they should or not, appearances matter. The people looking at your profile will form an opinion of you within seconds. And if someone forms a positive impression of you from your photo, they’re far more likely to assume that you possess positive attributes and characteristics as standard. This is a theory known as the Halo Effect – a theory based on the view that if someone has a positive impression of you prior to the meeting, they’re far more likely to behave in a friendly and approachable manner, therefore increasing the likelihood of a successful interaction. 

        Ultimately, when it comes to your Linked In profile picture, there’s the appropriate and the inappropriate. Read on for our view on which is which.

        The Inappropriate

        Your business logo is not suitable as a profile picture. Out of all of the social networking channels, people trust Linked In the most because it’s personal. It’s about you, and that’s what employers and employees alike want to see. Similarly, don’t have any photo at all. Studies have shown that those people who have a professional photo on their Linked In profile are 14 times more likely to be found in a search. 

        Linked In is not the forum for a selfie. Save that for Instagram. No matter how good the angle, or how impressive the filter, selfies are a no-no. Nor is it a good idea to have a friend take your picture. Just because they happen to have ‘portrait mode’ on their iPhone, this doesn’t make them an expert. Unless they’re a professional photographer, they’re unlikely to know anything about composition, positioning or lighting for the perfect headshot.

        Don’t use the picture you had taken in a previous job. For one thing, it’s likely to be out of date. You might love the professional headshot that was taken 15 years ago but to use it is misleading and will raise major issues of trust.

        The Appropriate

        By far the best Linked In profile pictures are taken by a professional photographer. This is because they’re skilled at taking pictures that convey the right message, in the right way. Whether you’re trying to be friendly and approachable, conservative and serious, or both – it’s a photographer’s craft to capture that in a single image.

        Keep the backdrop simple. A good profile picture should have you as the focus – anything else is just distracting. Smile and dress appropriately. Now is not the time to showcase the picture of the time you took the lead role in the Rocky Horror Show (unless of course, you’re auditioning for the Rocky Horror Show). Nor is it the time for that perfect bikini shot from your recent holiday in Benidorm. Look smart, and have a pleasant expression.  

        At Headway Recruitment, we’ve seen Linked In emerge as the number one platform for networking, and become a go-to source for recruitment. As of February 2016, Linked In had 414 million users, and this number is growing rapidly. Get your profile wrong at your peril.

        Whether you’re looking for a change, or you’ve realised that your current profile isn’t doing what you need it to do, then have a chat with your recruiter. Here at Headway, we’re always willing to give an opinion and help you get it right. In addition, it’s never a bad shout to have a professional headshot taken, and getting a copywriter to appraise and re-write your profile. After all, as with everything in life – you’ve got to speculate to accumulate.

        There are still spaces available for the Linked In Headshot Event on Thursday 28 November 2019 at the Northern HQ in Pudsey Leeds. A collaboration between professional photographers La Vue Photographique and content specialists So Contented. You can find out more and purchase tickets here. 

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