I came across this Forbes article on LinkedIn and found it very interesting and common sense yields these findings extremely easy to believe. Surely, one's perception of one's profile picture is highly subjective, so where is the happy medium? How can you be least offensive in order to incite positive preconceptions?
It's all based on personal opinion right?
For me, if I see a selfie on LinkedIn, my first thought would just be vanity. If I came across a photo where I can clearly see the arms extending to the image source, it's immediately off-putting. If they upload a family portrait as their LinkedIn profile picture, I instantly believe that the person in question clearly doesn't have a clue what LinkedIn is. It's like the members of my family who diarise every minute of their day on Facebook - they aren't weirdos, they just don't get the etiquette. Do you see my point?
So where is the happy medium? These findings suggest that particular expressions can encourage certain positive and negative perceptions which have the capacity to impact the real-life meeting. When I think about it, I get it. Although there have been times where people have surprised me, generally if someone is smiling and relaxed on their photo, I tend to think of them as such upon meeting. Likewise, if they are doing that duck thing with their lips I just know that, unfortunately, I probably won't be keen. Some people might like that though, so can this research really help us make the most out of our LinkedIn profiles?
Subjective, subjective, subjective.
Many people invest hours into creating the perfect LinkedIn profile. They tediously list every award they’ve won and scour the thesaurus looking to find the right verb to describe their work experience. Yet, many of those same people spend little time thinking about their profile picture. Maybe it’s a cool candid photo someone took with a smartphone. Or maybe, it’s a professional head shot that was taken in a studio for another job. But either way, people often use what they have on-hand without laboring too much over the impact that photo might have.