Your profile photo is the first thing people see when they view your profile on LinkedIn. How often should you change it? We asked several experts for their thoughts and got a variety of answers.
Change It If It Doesn’t Look Like You
Everyone agrees that your photo should look like you look today. Career Happiness Consultant Julie Bauke of the Bauke Group works with many clients helping them find the perfect career. She works with a lot of people later in their career so she focused on older job changers.
She says, “Beyond the obvious stuff, if you are older, say over 45, it is imperative that your look be up to date: hair, clothes, glasses. Having an up-to-date look is one of the best ways to combat age discrimination. An up-to-date profile photo that makes you look like the best version of yourself is a great way to signal that your ideas are up-to-date as well. If you just threw a photo up, or it is old, or you look old, it sends a message that you may not be cutting edge at work either.”
Keeping it current makes you look current, JoAnne Funch of Marketing Dish says, “I recommend that your photos are relatively current, this means if your appearance has changed dramatically such as shorter or longer hair on women then I would update.”
Change It At Least Every Two Years
Christine Hueber, LinkedIn Marketing Expert agrees: “So when they change their look (especially their hair!) or their brand, they should change their picture. At the least update it every few years.”
Johanna Wise of Connect Work Thrive, advises clients looking to get in to the flow of the job market. She thinks you should get the photo right using a professional photographer and if you do, you won’t have to change it that often, “On LinkedIn, I would hire the best photographer and post a terrific headshot of myself with the expectation that it will remain there for a long time. I think readers of a LinkedIn profile should focus on updates of accomplishments, not on changing headshots. That being said, because the photo will remain static, I want to underscore that the photo should absolutely portray the person in the best way possible.”
Debbie Leight of Computers Made Easy works with clients that need help navigating the internet and computer applications. Her clients ask for help on all kinds of social media. She thinks that how often you change depends on your industry, “ If their industry is more conservative, keeping the same photo for 2 years would probably be fine (assuming it’s a professionally done photo). If they don’t have a professional photo, then they should trade up to increasingly more flattering and professional looking photos as soon as they are available.
“If someone is in a line of work that is more fun and social — like a hairdresser, makeup artist, clothing stylist — or active — like a traveler, speaker, athlete etc, it might make more sense to keep updating it as new products, offerings or experiences are available to show off to potential clients. That could be every few weeks or months! The emphasis wouldn’t be on how professional the profile is, but more about showing off different aspects of a person’s business offering.”
Change Frequently To Gain Attention From Your Followers
Some of our experts thought that photos needed to be changed more often.
LinkedIn Corporate Communications Manager Yumi Wilson says to change your photo often to keep it appearing in front of LinkedIn connections. “I don’t have any stats, but I think it’s nice to update your photo every six months or less … just to give people an update of what you’re up to … visually, speaking!”
I could not agree more. When I see a profile photo change on LinkedIn, I always take a look. It reminds me of that person and prompts me to check their profile to see what they have been up to.
This does not mean you need a new professional headshot session every six months. You can do what Yumi and Debbie did and have 3 or four outfits at your headshot session and get multiple looks that you can rotate.
Whether you change it every few months or every few years, make sure your professional headshot looks like you and is of a professional quality that reflects on the quality of the work you are promoting on LinkedIn. You can see examples of my headshot photography on our portfolio & just contact me to book your session.