In the age of technology and in a time where the working world has had to evolve to be primarily remote, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your professional platforms are maintained to the highest standards. Every professional, employed or otherwise, now has a LinkedIn account which acts as a personal CV and profile that represents you as a professional individual. Covid has evidenced that unexpected events can happen that disrupt the norm and as such it is so important that as professionals, we maintain and update our front facing profiles to reflect who we are and where we’re at. LinkedIn is an amazing networking platform that helps you to find appropriate jobs, enables you to be recruited, and allows you to build and maintain connections with relevant contacts. It is not to be confused with your personal social platforms and in the same way that you should not post a picture of your lunch, you should also have a professional portrait that represents you as a polished and accomplished person. Usually, an employer will notice profiles that have an image because it immediately humanises your professional profile. It is nice to put a face to a set of achievements and goals. This is not to say that you have to worry about your “looks” in a conventional sense, just that representing yourself in the best possible light will add a lot of value to your profile. Now let’s talk about maintenance.
1. I’m Active!
First of all, if you maintain your profile picture incrementally it shows that you are active. This doesn’t have to be super constant, just perhaps once a year or so. An active profile is so important on professional platforms because it shows, for example, that you are actively looking for work or that you are developing professionally. If you are trying hard to find a job and a recruiter visits your profile and there is nothing to suggest that you are an active user, it could ultimately lose you an opportunity. Professional headshots are great because often even though your employment status or experience can be stagnant for some time, our faces are always changing. So, it really is a great way to just clock back in and say “hey! I’m still here!”.
2. First Impression!
Another important reason to update your professional profile picture is that ultimately, a photograph of your face is about as close to a first impression as you can make online. So, the best thing you can do is to make sure that it represents who you are right now!
3. A Constant!
A professional image can work as a constant between all of your online representations. If you have a LinkedIn profile and a personal website or portfolio, you can use the same profile picture across platforms. This association can help the viewer as they build a mental picture of who you are. This means that every time a person pays a visit to one of your platforms, they can associate all of your information directly to your face!
4. Differentiate Yourself!
One last point to hit on is we are not all lucky enough to have a super unique and individual name. When you are seeking work in a competitive field a profile picture is a super easy way to differentiate yourself from all of the other ‘Dave Smiths!’. People may share your name, but your face is totally unique!
Ultimately, working directly with a photographer will give you the best results simply due to their equipment and expertise. A good photographer will change their set up to compliment your unique features and be able to work with you to create the kind of headshot tailored to your needs. A professional photographer will also work with you to explore if a studio or location shoot will be more fitting to your profession and which option will paint you in the best light. It is not a one shoe fits all scenario so googling “professional headshot” will not give you the array of inspiration you need to present yourself in the most appropriate way. As with any cost that will benefit you professionally, it is worth it! The opportunities you will get from investing in yourself professionally always outweigh initial cost, and once you get a sense of what works for you maintaining your profile becomes a lot simpler!
"LinkedIn is no longer an online resume. It's your digital reputation."
- Jill Rowley