5 top tips for your LinkedIn profile picture

One of our clients, Pennie Withers, is a professional photographer and we’re looking forward to working with Pennie next month to get our own headshots done.

Pennie enjoyed a successful career in marketing working with brands such as Disney, Coca-Cola & others, and now works with her clients to produce professional images to help market their businesses. Her style of photography embraces natural light to capture personalities and help bring organisations to life visually. Her work is mostly used for website photos, social media content and headshots.  Here Pennie shares her top 5 tips when looking for a LinkedIn profile photographer…

So – you already know WHY you should have a professional Linkedin profile photo. But now, you’re looking for a Linkedin profile photographer. Here are my five top tips to help you get the most out of your headshot session.

Meet Rick……he was looking for a new LinkedIn profile photo but definitely didn’t want a standard headshot on a white or black background. Rick wanted some tips on how to get the most of our photo session and I’d like to share these thoughts with you….

1. Before you get started

  • It’s worth spending a bit of time doing some ‘homework’ – on LinkedIn. Look up people who are in the same profession as you. What are their headshots like? Copy and paste some you really   like   onto a word document. Also copy and paste some you don’t  like onto a word document. Share this with your photographer before the shoot. This is by far the best way to get across what kind of professional headshots that you like/dislike.
  • Consider what impression you are trying to give through your headshot. As an example, Rick wanted some shots that were informal, friendly and approachable but he also needed some more formal shots. Click   here   to see some of the variations we took.
  • Decide on your location – do you want indoor or outdoor shots? I always like to capture my clients in their working environment and it’s important to decide the backdrop to your photos before you start.

2. What to ask your LinkedIn profile photographer:

  • Always discuss with your photographer beforehand what kind of ‘look’ you are wanting. This will usually depend on both your profession and also where the photo will be being used (consider more formal shots for LinkedIn vs. more relaxed photos for Facebook/Twitter).
  • Tell your photographer where and how the photo will be used – this will have an impact on both the location (if appropriate) and your clothing.
  • Ensure your photographer will provide all of the images in the correct sizes for different platforms e.g. each social media platforms have different requirements to say, websites.

3. What should I wear for my professional headshots?

  • Discuss with your photographer what you should wear. My advice is usually to wear what you would usually wear to meet a client. Definitely not jeans and a t-shirt for example, if you usually turn up in a suit or vice versa.
  • Avoid busy patterns and large lines/stripes.
  • Blue/green/turquoise shirts/blouses or accents can help emphasize blue/green/hazel eyes
  • For men…..bring a few different jackets, shirt colours and ties so we have choices for the photo
  • For women, consider bringing different necklines/coloured tops/scarves to accessorise. Also for women, consider that sleeveless tops/dresses can draw attention to your shoulders/arms. And jewellery should be kept to a minimum (unless it is relevant to your business). The photo is of your face, not your accessories!

4. Anything else?

  • Should I smile? Absolutely, yes! A lack of smile can imply lack of interest/engagement. A friendly smile can reassure people you are the right person to do business with and will show interest, confidence and approachability.
  • Please note that you shouldn’t use your company logo as your profile picture. People want to connect with you as an individual, so avoid displaying your company’s logo — unless it’s your company’s page.

5. What next?

  • Click here  for some examples of headshots I have taken for various clients:
  • If you would like to discuss your professional headshot, click here  to get in touch.
  • If you have any further questions about choosing a LinkedIn profile photographer, I’d be delighted to help.
Headshot photography Slough

Pennie is running her next headshot day on Friday 9th February in Maidenhead and we’re excited to be taking part!

Five top tips to make the most of your training

We’re excited to welcome Natasha Kearslake of Organic P&O Solutions as our guest blogger this month.  As we run regular training events, we loved this blog about making the most of your training.

Natasha Kearslake is a fully qualified HR professional (MCIPD) and has in-depth knowledge and applied experience, strategic and operational, across the major HR disciplines. Natasha has worked for blue chip names, including Tesco, Waterstone’s and David Lloyd Leisure. Delivering a powerful combination of traditional Human Resourcing practices and bespoke developmental and facilitative approaches, she adds value by nurturing growth and maximising potential. She creates safe but challenging spaces in which individuals and teams can engage in creative dialogues which benefit their businesses. This pragmatic yet creative approach has enabled and supported many leaders  teams to improve business performance, through enhanced confidence and competence.

“So you’re booked onto a training session, how will you make sure you get the most out of it? We’ve answered five key questions that we encourage people to consider so they may make best use of their training investment. So, let’s get started:

  1. Why are you attending?

Are you there because you have to be or because you want to be?  This is more than simply mandatory versus voluntary attendance (although this will have an impact on its own). I mean, do you really want to be there and do you really have a clear purpose for what you will do with your new knowledge, skills or behaviours once you’ve received the training? If the answer to both questions is no, then perhaps this isn’t the right time for this training for you. Could you offer your place to someone who is in a better position to benefit? True, you will always get something from attending and it’s not always what you might have planned, but fundamentally, is this a good use of your time or will your investment be diluted because you won’t apply what you have learned?

  1. Who are you listening to and how well are you doing it?

A shared learning experience is beneficial because you can learn so much from the other people in the room over and above what is available from the trainer.  A good facilitator will make sure that happens as part of their delivery style. Yet so often I witness people miss out on so much because they do one or some of the following:

  • they listen selectively to content and not different perspectives from the discussion
  • they speak to the person next to them during group discussion time. This dilutes not only their own experience but that of the person they are speaking to
  • they don’t take any notes and so have nothing to reflect on later

Aside from manners, any of the above assume what’s in your head is more important at that time, than what’s being said in the room.  Equally, you may have something to add to the discussion that could benefit everyone else. So make a commitment to both you and your fellow delegates to focus on the time you have, for the topic you have and everyone will benefit.

If you have something burning that you feel you must say, write it down and asterisk or highlight it in some way. If at the end of the discussion your point hasn’t been addressed, you can introduce it in the group or discuss it informally in a break.  This affords the person you would have said it to, to do the same, and not be distracted by your current thoughts at that time.

  1. Are you clear about why you’re there?

In our experience, and if we’ve worked together already, you’ll probably have heard me say this a lot. Learning happens in layers. We learn incrementally from wherever we are in relation to the topic and we learn only what we are ready for.  So do you know what your current knowledge/skill level is so you can make sure you focus on what you can apply after you’ve attending your training session? The more specific you are about your learning objectives, the more likely you are to take in what you need from the session. This works on both a conscious and subconscious level with both direct and indirect learning outcomes. Think about a blue car then go for a drive and you’ll spot lots of blue cars on the road. There aren’t any more than usual, you’re just tuned into to spotting them. The same applies to your learning. It’s called RAS and if you’re interested to know more about how that works, you can find out more about it here.

  1. Have you created the right environment for your learning?

When I’m delivering a training session, I arrive early.  I allow time to focus on what I’m delivering, shut off any other distractions and focus purely on my clients for that day.  However, there have been many times where I’ve arrived ‘in time’ for a training session when I’m the delegate.  Whoever is paying for the training itself, remember you are the client and recipient investing your time. That’s a currency that deserves respect in addition to the other expenses incurred.  So when you attend a training session, allocate some time beforehand to make sure you have a way of dealing with any interruptions and have everything you need to be ready for the session. If there’s pre-work, do it!

Before you attend, know where you’re going and how to get there, so you can arrive in plenty of time, with your head in the right place at the right time. For example, if there’s an 8:30 for a 9:00am start, turn up closer to 8:30 than 9:00am.  Allow time to find the meeting room, find your seat, get a coffee maybe. Be sure to eat breakfast that morning and you’ll get into the session quicker and make best use of all the features we’ve already mentioned.

  1. What follow up do you need to do?

This is often the bit that gets the least attention, and even if all other points are in place, if this is missing, it will deplete the return on investment made.

What does good follow-up look like? Here are some minimums from our perspective:

  • Book some time in the diary within 24 hours of the event to capture your own observations. Think logically about what you covered and what your own learning highlights were.
  • Book some time in the diary to review your learning and its application the following week too.
  • If you took good notes, these will prove really useful here. If you didn’t, use the agenda to prompt your thinking and make a note to take better notes next time!
  • Identify at minimum, one immediate and one longer term action that can be put into place straightaway, that can be practised. This could be in the form of a new habit, a new process, or some follow up reading. Whatever it is, it must have resonance for you, otherwise it won’t be something you’ll stick to.
  • Identify at minimum, one person to share your learning with. If you’re really good at this, you’ll identify who this is before you attend the training. Regardless, remember that when we commit to telling someone else, we’re more likely to learn more.

These are highlights of how to make the best use of your session. Everybody learns differently and gets different levels of learning from different phases of the event. Find out what works best for you and create your own process for getting the best out of any training event. Our overall premise is ‘less is more’. Focus on what you need and can implement and you will be more likely to take part in the right training for you and be able to apply your learning from any event you attend to best effect.”

If you’d like to find out more, you can get in touch directly with Natasha here.

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