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Elizabeth Moffat

Elizabeth Moffat

OLC Student Community Coordinator
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

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Portrait of a student
Have troubling smiling for photos? Try thinking happy thoughts while you pose, or laugh right before the photo is taken, you might feel a little silly, but it’ll make your smile look genuine, not creepy or fake.

The BIG Fair offered students the opportunity to get a great looking professional photo taken to complete their LinkedIn profile. We used their examples to illustrate some tips on what makes a great profile photo.

According to one eye-tracking study, recruiters spend 19% of their time on your profile looking at the photo. More time than any other section.

Jason Seiden blogged about his experience experimenting with different headshots in his profile. Some of take-aways?

  • People don’t like extreme close-ups, they feel aggressive or like you’re hiding something.

  • A plain headshot with a black background found surprisingly little success as well – it was too generic and showed no personality.

What Goes Into a Good Profile Photo?

  • First off, it needs to be a solo shot. If you want to pose with your best friend head over to Instagram.

  • Wear a professional outfit and smile.

  • Find an attractive backdrop with good lighting, and don’t feel like you need to look head on into the camera  - this isn’t a mugshot.

  • Work your personality into the shot. You don’t need silly props or gimmicks, your clothes, location, and expression can say a lot.

If you can, have someone else take your photo. No cropping other people out of old shots from the bar. If you have to resort to a selfie, don’t make it look like one. Figure out how to use the self-timer on your camera and put it to use.

Have troubling smiling for photos? Try thinking happy thoughts while you pose, or laugh right before the photo is taken, you might feel a little silly, but it’ll make your smile look genuine, not creepy or fake.

Finally, remember that your profile photo is a square, so keep that in mind when cropping and framing.

About the Author

Elizabeth Moffat

Elizabeth Moffat

OLC Student Community Coordinator
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

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