Studies show that it takes 1/10th of a second for someone to form an opinion of you based on your photo (Read More).  Since LinkedIn is such a powerful social tool with more than half of B2B’s browsing the app daily, it’s critical to have a profile photo that wins over your audience in less than a second. Thankfully, the research is out there and it gives us a heads-up on how you can present yourself as a knowledgeable influencer whose word is gold.   



  • Smile: This is tougher than it sounds but with a little encouragement, we’ll help you pull of a genuine smile. 
  • Make eye contact with the camera: We can do the deep thought photos at another time but this photo is just as much about your audience as it is about you.  Eyes are the windows…remember that.
  • Dress the part:  Financial Advisors may dress more formally than software engineers however keep in mind that more formal dress improves perceived competence.
  • The Squint: It’s a combination of a smile and minimal squint. The thought behind this is that when we appear a little too wide-eyed, we may give the impression  that we are uncertain and nervous.  The squint gives the signal that we are confident and it’s under control.
  • Head and Shoulders: Just enough to show yourself off.


The most frequent question I’m asked when helping my clients prepare for their headshots is “what do I wear?”  I absolutely believe that everyone needs to be true to who they are and show off their best selves.  The look may differ depending on the field you are in.  Members of the financial industry may be more suit and tie whereas a start-up tech firm may prefer button-downs and blue jeans. Regardless of your specialty, there are a few tried and true tips that will help you look your best and project the confidence you have as an expert in your industry. 


Dress To Impress

  • Layers: Always the best bet.  For example: a jacket or sport coat over a polo or a sweater over a tank.  It’s a flawless look.
  • Keep It Simple: When selecting your outfit, you’ll also want to be careful to avoid excessively busy patterns, bold stripes or logos. A splash of color such as orange or yellow is a nice touch but we’ll want to limit it a bit as the colors can be oversaturated in digital.  
  • Jewelry:  Remember, we want the focus to be on you so jewelry that compliments your style is great.  If you’re wondering if it might distract from your face, then most likely it will and you may want to play it safe.
  • Glasses:  If you’re wondering whether or not to wear them, consider how people are used to seeing you: with or without. Also be sure to clean them right before you come into your portrait session.
  • Hair and Make-Up: If your planning on coloring your hair, try to schedule this with a trim a week before your session so the color can settle. Gentlemen, if you’re doing the clean shaven look, you’ll want to the day of.  And with make-up, think clean and classic with subtle colors that compliment your skin tone.
If you’re wondering how strong you’re current LinkedIn profile photo is, check out Photofeeler, an online tool that analyzes your social and business profile images to give you feedback on how they affect and influence your audience.  The research is very clear in that the key is to create a first impression that shows you to be both confident and trustworthy and using the tips above is a fantastic start.  Ready to take the next step? Get in touch!