by Sam Fatima Headshot Photographer

With more than 774 million users, LinkedIn is one of the largest social networks and has become a critical part of the job search process. In fact, 40 million people use LinkedIn to actively search for jobs each week while 87% of recruiters actively use LinkedIn to identify talent.

With this in mind, improving your ability to attract interest on LinkedIn is important for those looking for jobs as well as those simply wanting to build connections or remain open for the right opportunity. There are a plethora of articles about various tips and tricks for navigating the LinkedIn environment. However, one of the most important things that I have found is the value of having a professional headshot for your profile pic. Let’s explore five reasons why you should have a professional headshot.

1.    First Impressions are Critical

Headshots have typically been relegated to niche industries such as acting; however, the rise of LinkedIn for recruiting and networking means that everyone now has an opportunity to put their best foot – or face – forward. However, most people neglect this aspect of their profile. Recent research found that 9% of LinkedIn photos are selfies and 15% cropped other people out. While fine for Facebook or Instagram, this doesn’t work great for LinkedIn.

The value of a first impression is an age old cliché because it is true. If you were to have an interview, you’d spend a lot of time ensuring that you look well-dressed, professional, and approachable. It is just as important to portray a similar image on LinkedIn. The first thing recruiters and potential connections see is your headshot. Why do you think organizations use professional photographers for business portraits and corporate headshots? It enhances the image they put forth.

However, there are so many things to consider when deciding upon a perfect picture. Things like lighting, background, positioning, and facial expressions all affect the vibe that a photo gives off. Hiring a photographer for professional headshots will ensure that a professional can walk through these variables and provide you with a photo that will help you standout and present a great virtual first impression.

2.    Headshots are Surprisingly Affordable

 When people think about hiring a photographer for professional headshots, one of the things that tends to make them skeptical of the idea is cost. After all, the thought of having a photographer come in seems like a bit of a luxury or excess to some. It must be expensive. However, these same people often have professional photos taken to commemorate other things in their life such as family portraits. Why is a business portrait different? The reality is that it isn’t.

 Additionally, professional portraits are often cheaper than family photos as they generally take less time and only involve one subject. Nationally, the average cost of professional headshots is $250; however, this cost varies substantially by region. Mid-sized cities and rural areas tend to be more inexpensive than larger metro areas. In Washington DC, professional headshot packages tend to average $425 but can range from $150 to $1,000. When looking at the cost, keep in mind that a good professional headshot will last for sometime, providing an extensive benefit for an infrequent investment.

3.    You Get Noticed More

 A good professional headshot not only gives you a better look but will also get you noticed. This means the likelihood of being contacted by a recruiter or simply having new contacts reach out increases. This can be an important benefit for all people but particularly those who work in industries like consulting, a popular area in Washington DC. When some of my friends began using a professional headshot, they felt like their LinkedIn was getting noticed more. As it turns out, this was not just anecdotal evidence but actually has research backing it up.

 LinkedIn’s own research has shown the power of having professional headshots. Pages with these types of photos were found to have 21 times more profile views than those of other users. Additionally, they received 9 times more connection requests and 36 times more direct messages. This illustrates what I initially stated – professional headshots really do have a significant effect on getting noticed. A professional photographer is able to cultivate an image that will appropriate convey professionalism: friendly, approachable, and knowledgeable.

4.    Your Credibility Increases

It may surprise people to find that LinkedIn has now been around for eighteen years. In that time, it has substantially evolved. In fact, many people would note that LinkedIn is no longer a social network but rather a social marketplace. This is because it has evolved from connecting professionals into something much more. Companies post content and positions while recruiters search out ideal candidates. Meanwhile, you can note whether you are open to being contacted by recruiters, view postings, and even share your own content. 

Why is this important? Because your credibility as a professional is even more important in this dynamic marketplace of ideas. Many people now use LinkedIn to share content and write their own original content. Thus, engagement is not just making connections or finding jobs but sharing your ideas and influence. Credibility matters a lot more in this environment. A professional headshot adds instant credibility to your ideas, meaning more people will engage. This, in turn, increases not only your influence but your own marketability. In the online marketplace, credibility is an important tool for enhancing reach, particularly to new audiences. 

5.    Establish your Professional Brand

One of the major buzzwords in the business environment in recent years has been the value of a professional brand. What is a professional brand? Essentially, it’s what is recognizable about you and your skills. So your personal brand would be your primary skills, experience, and expertise. Think about this as your elevator pitch. However, with a dramatic shift to online engagement over the past decade, your image is now a powerful aspect of your brand. Your image on LinkedIn will quickly become associated with other aspects of your brand.

Thus, you want a professional portrait in order to convey an image of expertise that is fitting with your knowledge and skills. Additionally, we know that our brains store things using a variety of sensory inputs. Thus, someone seeing your image – whether on a repeated visit to your LinkedIn page or when you walk in for the interview you landed – will make it more likely that the person quickly recalls your skills or the content your posted. A business portrait could enhance this recall, making it more likely that your professional brand is effectively communicated.

Final Thoughts 

I keep in touch with my clients who come to me to get a professional headshot or business portrait. They all have found that having a professional headshot on LinkedIn has greatly enhanced their engagement and the quality with which they can showcase their professional brand to others. After learning more about how people engage with images and how professional images enhance our presence on LinkedIn, I am more confident than ever in the importance of this investment. Professional headshots are surprisingly affordable given their value and will enhance first impressions, get you noticed, and improve your credibility.

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About Sam Fatima Junior   Headshot Photographer

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Joined APSense since, August 9th, 2021, From Alexandria, United States.

Created on Oct 1st 2021 17:19. Viewed 274 times.


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