And if you want to make the most impact and reach the most connections, your profile photo is one of the crucial elements you need to get right.
Fortunately, science has shown the best approach for taking a profile photo that will make the best first impressions. And a lot of it depends on your smile.
Analyzing Your Smile
Although there are many ways to approach looking at your LinkedIn photo, one of the simplest is to use a tool that can digitally analyze your photo and give recommendations, such as Snappr’s Photo Analyzer.
This Photo Analyzer puts a lot of focus on your smile. Why smile? You might think that the best professional photos should have serious faces, the truth is that people will respond to your smile. When considering hiring an employee or contractor, people are looking for someone they can work with. You’re more likely to look like that kind of person if you are giving off positive emotional vibes. Smiles have also been shown to make a big impact on sales: people are more likely to buy something after looking at a smile than after looking at a frown.
But just having a smile isn’t enough. You need to have the right kind of smile. Too slight a smile–one that doesn’t curve upward enough and doesn’t show your teeth–won’t have the desired impact. But too big a smile can also be a problem. If you have a so-called laughing smile–one where your upper and lower teeth don’t look like they are together–it can cast doubt on your competence. This can impact everything from a hiring decision to a Kickstarter pledge.
But also problematic is the appearance of your smile itself. Crooked teeth, darkened teeth, gaps between teeth, missing teeth, and worn teeth can all form the basis for a first impression you won’t be proud of: it can make people think you’re less intelligent, less successful, and even less compassionate.
The Rest of the Face and Other Elements
Although the smile is a crucial element of your profile photo, it’s not the only thing that matters. Also important to giving the right impression is just a slight squint. For whatever reason, if your eyes are fully open, people are more likely to think you look uncertain. But a little squint makes you look like you have focus, vision, and determination.
Having a strong jawline can help you look more youthful and energetic. In photos, this may be simply a matter of managing the shadow under your chin.
Other key elements for your profile photo include taking a picture that includes your head and shoulders. The background should be colorful, but not too busy. Balance your picture with the rule of thirds. It’s important to have the right contrast and color temperature. These are a bit harder to describe, but if you use the Photo Analyzer, you’ll see pretty quick what makes the best photo in these respects.
What If You’re Uncomfortable with Your Smile?
Hopefully now we’ve convinced you how important your smile is to your best LinkedIn photo. But what do you do if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile?
That’s where we come in. At élan by Dr. Meghan Hodges in Tulsa, cosmetic dentist Dr. Meghan Hodges can repair virtually any complaint you may have with a smile makeover. Cosmetic dentistry can take care of crooked teeth, damaged teeth, and even replace a missing tooth with a dental implant.
Just call (918) 528-3330 today for an appointment.