Is your LinkedIn Headshot photograph really that important? - Dan Cantero Headshots
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In 2018, JDP completed an analysis of all profile photographs on the social media platform LinkedIn. What they found was something I found both expected and surprising. I arrived at their research whilst doing a little homework for myself. I’m a headshot photographer based in Sydney Australia. I’ve always known that a good headshot photograph can make a difference. I’ve always assumed that other people know this and make an effort to get a really good photo of themselves. It turns out that not all of us know this. There are people that refuse to let themselves be judged on a photograph. I respect this opinion, but working in an industry where I see the rewards that my images bring, it’s hard to argue with the numbers. As much as we like to think that we don’t judge a book by it’s cover, it turns out that most of the time we do.  JDP analysed the photos used by people in different industries and here is what they found. Real Estate, HR, Recruiting, Marketing, Advertising and PR scored the highest. They were followed in order by Sales, Business Development, Health, Wellness, Fitness, Finance, Banking, IT, Computer Science, Healthcare, Education, Government with Retail being scored the poorest.


The photos were rated using a simple method that took into account lighting, resolution and composition. Elements that are the bare minimum in any professional photo.  It is not surprising is that Marketing, Advertising and PR, are the biggest users of professional photography. All these industries share one common goal, to see products and services.  This along should be all the proof anyone would need to follow their lead and replace that smart phone selfie with a good photograph of you. Still, not all people will do it.


Whether you agree with it or not, your photograph is part of the digital version of you. In fact, it’s probably the one thing everyone looks at first. Even LinkedIn have found that a profile is 14 times more likely to get engagement if it has a photograph against one that does not.  To the people that understand this, it will represent a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd with very little effort. Even if you can’t afford a professional photographer you can still get a shot better than most are using. How do you do this? Here is a simple way to get a better photo. Get a friend to help you or use a tripod. Before you consier the steps below you should check out my headshot preparation guide which will give you the best start possible.


  1. Find a location outside in the shade.
  2. Stand 3 feet away from your chosen background. Solid colors work best.
  3. Have the camera or smart phone at least 3 feet away from you.
  4. Make sure you are in shade. You don’t want ugly shadows under your eyes or nose.
  5. Soft smile.
  6. Click


Ideally, you would get a photographer to help you but just following these simple steps you will end up with a photo that is better than what most other people are using. If you would like to learn more about how a headshot photograph can help you check out my blog.