Oh my. Such a quandary. A recent article posed an answer to the question of how formal your clothes should be in your LinkedIn headshot. I will paraphrase its conclusions:
“However, for your LinkedIn profile, if you are looking for a job at a hyper-growth startup in Silicon Valley, I recommend business casual dress for men and women.”
The context of the article was for job seekers. This is not Silicon Valley. What about the rest of us? That got me thinking. So I’ll go further with this topic.
Did you know that every headshot has 4 different versions that appear on LinkedIn? For example, mine, with the 3 additional different photos below, is used in other sections of LinkedIn (you have no control beyond what larger headshot you upload).
So word to wise men and women, make your headshot shoulder-to-top-of-head so the 3 smaller ones remain large enough to make your face easily seen.
That digression leads me back to the issue of what to wear. If you follow my advice, the concern over wearing a suit or business casual attire means very little if the bottom of your headshot is shoulder-level. The viewer is thus looking at your face, not at how formal an outfit you wore. There, easy fix. No more worry about formal or not.
Last year in my most recent headshot, I chose to wear a tie and blazer as a compromise between biz-caz and a suit. I dress either way when I speak to groups or to a company and always ask the person who hires me what is appropriate. If in doubt, as my wife counsels me, dress in a suit.
BTW, I suggest against a white shirt since headshots these days use a white background for LinkedIn headshots. In a white shirt you will appear to be floating, so that’s not a good idea. Stay away from fine stripes that can make us dizzy on TV and in low res photos.
Great photographers provide guidance how to dress ahead of the photo shoot. One such is my colleague, photographer, and best of all, friend Brett Deutsch in NYC who provides excellent advice on his website.
See, looking great and dressing professionally on LinkedIn isn’t rocket science after all.