The other day I received the typical “you may know this person” suggestion on LinkedIn. While I do know this person, it dawned on me that if I didn’t, I probably would not connect with them on a professional networking site when my first impression was that of the handheld Selfie quickly taken, not professional-looking, and a barely completed profile. In this ever-growing casual environment where we live and work, juxtaposed with the necessary personal branding we all require, why in the world would your first impression be less than your best?
Anything less than a professional-looking headshot for any business website is unacceptable. Your goal should be to demonstrate that you are a qualified professional who cares about first impressions. While it’s easy to snap a photograph on your phone anywhere, appearing unprofessional sends the wrong impression. I’d rather see no picture, than a badly taken image on an incomplete profile that portrays a lack of effort, awareness and attention that you are willing to give your professional brand.
A professional headshot is very inexpensive and a small investment worth every penny. The time it takes to complete a LinkedIn profile is an investment in your brand. Why sacrifice perceptions when you can take a simple step to insure you represent yourself with the integrity and professionalism you deserve?
Take a moment and look over your profile. Ask yourself, if I was approached by this person or they were recommended to me, what would be my first impression? Often in today’s professional world you may only have one opportunity to make that critical first impression. Go out and make it the best you possibly can!