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Before reading this I want you to... take a minute to look at your own profile picture here and on LinkedIn, and I mean really look at it!

What does it say about you?
Does it show confidence and approach-ability? Confidence comes from the eyes, if you can't see your eyes in your profile picture, how is this going to project confidence to your potential clients or new employer? Similarly the smile, the smile shows your approach-ability, too stern and you will look unapproachable, too cheesy and you will look foolish.
 
When did you last update it?
Would your new clients recognise you from you profile picture if you met them in the coffee shop or at a networking event? Would a potential new employer have second thoughts if the person turning up to the interview looked very different from their profile picture? You don't need to update your profile picture every week or even every month, but every couple of years is a good rule of thumb. If you go through a major appearance change such as long hair to short hair or removing a beard then it might be time to consider a new picture.
 
Can you see your face?
Basic question I know, but you would be surprised. Is it well lit, free from distracting shadows, does it have odd light being cast upon it, is it clear, in focus and not distorted? Is it rotated or at some jaunty angle? Do you stand out from the background or just blend in at the edges? The whole reason to have a profile picture is to be seen, so don't waste this one opportunity to show potential clients or employers who you are.
 
What are you wearing?
I'm not going to suggest you have to wear business attire, but, it should be clean, and represent who you are at work. So no to swimwear (lifeguards excepted), party frocks, morning suits, unless these really are the sort of things you would wear as part of your job.
 
Where was the picture taken?
Hen night, stag night, auntie Joan's wedding. We all love a good party, but is the party animal image the one we want to show? So ditch the pint glasses and champagne flutes. Was it taken at the top of mountain, or on the beach in Bali? It shouldn't matter where, providing the where is not the focus of the picture.
 
Who else is in the image?
This is your chance to show who you are, be the only person in the image, no cropped off half bodies of other people, no colleagues, family, spouses, children, or pets.
 
What else is in the image?
Is the background distracting? Are you trying to get the company logo, or an award in as well? The company logo is probably better placed in the banner picture where you have more space and more freedom on what to display. An award is best featured in the additional media section of your profile where you could put a nice close up picture showing it in detail. Is the background too distracting? Is there lots of noise or clutter, is it too bright compared to your face? If you have dark hair and a dark background can you tell where one ends and the other starts? You need to be the focal point of the image, so keep it clean and simple.
 
How big should your face be in the picture?
Recommendations are the face should cover about 60% of the image area. It is OK to crop the top of you head off, from about the hairline at the top of the forehead, and the bottom of the picture should extend down to about the top of the sternum.
 
So when you've finished reading this article, go back and take another look at your profile picture and ask yourself, is it time for a new one? If the answer is yes, and you live or work in the Thames Valley area, then book yourself into one of my headshot clinics and get new profile images for 2018.
 
I run headshot clinics around the Thames Valley region from Reading to Weybridge, Farnborough to Staines, and for corporate clients wanting three or more headshots then I can bring my Headshot clinic to you. Visit my website at http://www.cascotphotography.com/headshot_clinic for the latest venue dates and locations and to book your headshot session.


on December 21 at 1:05

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