The idea with a professional headshot is to have a strong image representing you, your brand, or your company. In the absence of a professional photo, strive to take the best selfie you can get because, according to LinkedIn, “a photo can be the difference between getting overlooked and getting the job.” With a photo, a LinkedIn profile gets up to “21 times more views, 36 times more messages and up to 9 times more connection requests.”
Step One – Lighting
Stand in front of a large window, a door, or a garage door. Ensure that you are standing in a shaded area to avoid any hard light on your face.
Step Two – Background
Pay attention to the background and remove any distracting objects that can take the attention away from your face, the main subject.
Step Three – Wardrobe
Select a neckline and color that complements the look you want and avoid wrinkles for a more polished look.
Step Four – Angle
Prop your phone horizontally a little bit below eye level so you can look directly into the camera. It’s better not to use a selfie stick or hold the phone with your hand to avoid awkward angles with arms and shoulders.
Step Five – Posture
Stand on your feet shoulder-width apart, stomach in as you are about to start a yoga session. Ensure that you are not hunching your back and level your shoulders. Keep your elbows in and rotate them outward to slim down your shoulders.
Step Six – Jawline
Bring your chin forward and slightly down while keeping your shoulders in place. You want to feel pressure under your chin. Here, the idea is to create space between your chin and your neck to accentuate your jawline and reduce any double chin.
Step Seven – Eyes
Adjust the expression of your eyes until you get a look that is both pleasing and engaging. Create pressure with your bottom eyelids to hide some of the white below your eyes’ iris to avoid the dear in the headlights look.
Step Eight – Edit
Use an app like Snapseed to adjust exposure, contrast, and highlights. Avoid using filters, so the headshot doesn’t look amateurish.
Step Nine – Crop
Crop the photo square using the help of a grid and keep the eyes on or above the top grid line. Leave enough space below the neck so you don’t end up with a floating head on your headshot.
Step Ten – Upload
Upload your image to your LinkedIn and other social media profiles to keep a consistent look across your accounts. If you want variations, rinse and repeat the process above using different outfits, hairstyles, and backdrops.