Whether you're a compulsive social media poster or not, your behavior online could have a big impact on your next job search: 92% of recruiters say they look at profiles to help find potential candidates, particularly on LinkedIn.
And the first thing they're likely to see? Your smiling face and pearly whites, assuming you've taken a proper headshot, that is: LinkedIn reports that profiles with a photo are 14 times as likely as those without to get views.
At the least, your LinkedIn profile should cover some basics. You're best off wearing solid colors, not patterns, and making sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame. The rule of thirds helps you stay centered, but look natural.
Ideally, a recruiter could recognize you immediately if you were to meet them in person. In fact, taking a good headshot isn't all that hard — even selfies can suit the bill if you follow a few basic rules. Go with natural light instead of flash, if you can, and look up into the camera instead of down. No duck face.
And again, don't forget to smile, which research suggests will make people trust you more.
These rules seem pretty easy to follow, right?
Well, surprisingly, photographers don't seem to be practicing what they preach, at least according to a new analysis of LinkedIn head shots and their composition: Strangely enough, photographers' profiles ranked at the bottom.
That report is from Snappr, a photography startup that built a tool to analyze head shots and assign a score based on facial expression, image composition and photo quality. To look for patterns, the company evaluated tens of thousands of anonymized profiles and assigned scores based on everyone's pictures. The company then ranked countries and professions by who had the "best" and "worst" photos on LinkedIn.
Whose photos reigned supreme? Well-connected Chilean lawyers, apparently. The South American country must have some pretty competent shutterbugs, because they topped the national rankings, beating out Australia, Germany, and the United States.
Curious as to how your own profession stacks up? Here are the ten best and ten worst professions in terms of head shot quality.
Professions with the best head shots
10. Investment Banking
9. Management Consulting
8. Staffing and Recruiting
7. Financial Services
5. Broadcast Media
4. Events Services
3. Non-profit Organization Management
1. Law Practice
Professions with the worst head shots
9. Apparel and Fashion
8. Computer Networking
7. Consumer Services
6. Information Services
5. Media Production
4. Business Supplies and Equipment
3. Architecture and Planning
You'll notice that a lot of professions with good head shots are pretty high-paying, so it's perhaps not particularly surprising that companies might be willing to shell out more dough to make employees look good.
But photographers had the worst photos? Really? Snappr's theory is that too many photographers are taking creative liberties with their profiles, which means paying less attention to the strict rules that their algorithm seeks out — like how the jawline is framed, or how much contrast is used.
Curious how your own image stacks up? You can try out Snappr's tool here.
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