So you have a Linkedin profile photo and it's been four years since you last changed it, but does it represent you, your passion or current professional career? Is this photo something you would want displayed on your professional website or even to a large conference with 100,000 people? If it's not, then it's probably a good idea to change it. Hiring a professional for a headshot could be expensive, but ask yourself "is it worth the investment"? Here is a list of why you should change your profile picture.
When your picture doesn’t represent who you are currently.
Your profile picture should be a true representation of your current look and state of mind. My brother recently changed his professional profile picture because his previous one represented a much younger and inexperienced version of himself. A profile picture shouldn't be 5-10 years old because we change our look and our frames of mind. As time passes, we not only physically change, but we change psychologically. Pictures, whether we believe it or not, displays and captures our age and frame of mind. For instance, sometimes we look at an older picture and think to ourselves: "Wow, look at how much I've changed and how much I've learned." So don't share an inexperienced version of yourself and embrace your current age and maturity.
When you don’t have a Linkedin profile picture.
This pretty much explains itself, if you don’t have a Linkedin picture then get on it. According to Linkedin, a simple picture upload will make your profile seven times more likely to be viewed by potential employers. So, get yourself a profile picture - ASAP.
When your Linkedin picture looks like a selfie.
I can't stress this one enough, a profile picture that looks like a selfie should never be on Linkedin. I'm sure your instagram is full of them (I know mine is) but even your best duckface selfie shouldn't be your professional headshot. Why, you ask? Well, that certain angle you took that picture does not represent how we see you. Having a photographer take your photo allows them to take it at an angle that would most likely represent how people view and see you. According to Kim Lachance Shandrow from her post “8 Types of Photos You Should Never Use on Your Linkedin Profile” on Entrepreneur.com, she lists that some of the worst Linkedin Picture offences are “selfie in the mirror pic”, and the overkill filtered picture to name a few. She also adds that the “selfies of any kind are way too casual for Linkedin.” However, I think that there is an exception to this rule. If your photo doesn’t look like a selfie, then it could work. For instance, a professional selfie shouldn't show your arms grabbing the camera and should have good lighting and posture. To take a picture that doesn’t look like a selfie, I recommend to check out Photofeeler.com, a site that gives feedback on profile pictures. They share a small tutorial to achieve that look. Now, in the mean time please replace that overly filtered, duckface selfie picture on your profile and find someone who can take a photo that represents a professional version of yourself.
When your profile looks uninteresting.
So, I've scrolled around some profiles pictures and the most uninteresting ones were flatly lit (meaning there was no lighting contrast), heavily pixelated and also had those mundane grey backgrounds, which gives it 1980's kinda look. To make a profile exciting, it should be expressive, personal and creative. Another great tip is to show your viewers and potential employer what you’re most passionate about. For instance, if you are a music writer, it would be a good idea to have to your favourite instrument displayed somewhere in the background. As well, if you have a favourite fashion item, then have it in your picture. So, use your passions and creativeness to make your profile both professional and unique.