It was time to update my professional headshots and I was overwhelmed with the endless options of what to wear and how to pose. First impressions matter. In this digital age, a good LinkedIn profile photo must communicate who you are in a nanosecond. That means the right photo should showcase your personality, your trustworthiness and your likability. Before you take your photo, you must think of the message you want to convey to your audience.
What Colour to Wear?
When choosing the colour, think of your personal branding. Colour is a form of non-verbal communication. The meaning of colours varies depending on your culture and your personal preferences. Colours also produce a chemical reaction in the brain and evoke certain emotions. These emotions are centered around individual experiences.
I opted for a white blouse because the colour white compliments my skin tone and creates a beautiful contrast. Yet, white is a clean and simple colour. On a more psychological note, the colour white evokes fairness, balance and efficiency. Since white is non-stimulant, it opens the way for the mind to conceive whatever it wishes. So when choosing a colour, think of merging your personal brand and the different colour associations
Business Suit or Blouse?
You may opt for a more formal business look like a suit or blazer. These are the typical uniforms of the business world. The structure of the suits conveys confidence and power. Business suits are also very masculine. Since I work in a male-dominated industry, I opted for a blouse as a way to embrace my femininity without taking away from my confidence nor my power. The bottom line is: Dress for your role. If you are still undecided, think of Jessica Pearson
, she is the ultimate bad ass woman character on television and ask yourself what would Jessica wear?
To Smile or not to Smile?
This was a hard one. I was inclined to keep a straight face on my photos. However, I asked my coworkers to choose between a photo of me smiling and one on which I looked more serious. Everyone voted for the photo with a smile. This can be explained. According to PhotoFeeler’s research
, a closed mouth smile makes you appear only half as likable as someone who shows their teeth and it does not have a significant impact on your competence nor influence. On the other hand, an open mouth smile will increase your likability but you lose points on perceived competence and influence. Smile a little.