What does your Online Headshot say about you?

Posted: 19th February 2019


By: Sandra Garlick MBE

Social Media is a powerful and successful tool to enhance your networking.

I have gained new clients, made new contacts and used the platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as an introduction to those valuable face to face meetings.  Of course, there are many other things that make various social media platforms the success they are today.

One thing that many people who have online profiles fail to get just right is their head shot or profile picture. I am not saying that mine is perfect, but it has several key components that I look for when I connect with someone:

  1. A smile… Straight away the picture gives the impression of someone friendly and approachable.
  2. Eye Contact… By looking straight into the camera there is immediate and engaging eye contact.  I am always wary of people who appear to be looking into the distance on their profile shots.
  3. Head and Shoulders… You can clearly see your features.  It also makes it easier to recognise someone you may have met at a networking event or may wish to meet in the future.
  4. Professional… Beach shots, family shots and those holding an alcoholic beverage in ‘non-work’ mode demonstrate a lack of professionalism, especially if you are using your profile for business purposes. LinkedIn is a professionals’ platform whereas Facebook is more relaxed. It also depends if your profile is a personal one or a business one.
  5. A Photo… There are still many online profiles which have no professional photo or indeed any photo at all.  This demonstrates laziness. If, for security reasons, you are unable to post a picture of yourself online then a logo or product picture is the very minimum.

It is so easy to get a professional head shot today, and at minimal cost.  Even a profile picture taken with a smartphone is better than no photo at all.

I no longer connect with anyone who doesn’t have a head shot.  If I know them personally, I send a gentle reminder that they may wish to include one.


Sandra Garlick is the founder of Woman Who, creating role models and helping you to power up your personal brand

Sandra Garlick, Former Solicitor, Business Mentor, Non-Exec, Public Speaker, Speaker Trainer and Author