Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” for a headshot — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.
So, how does that relate to photography? Well, how you pose in a photo, especially if it is work related, can make or break you and LinkedIn is no place to appear shy or insecure.
Looking as if you’re in charge and influential are key to landing a better job and make more money. If you look influential you have a better shot at management roles and promotions. You are also likely to earn more respect.
Our natural tendency is to think, “I am who I am and there’s not much I can do about it. I either look like a boss or I don’t”. But as Amy Cuddy puts it, you can “fake it till you become it”. Anyone can take steps to appear more like a leader.
Here are a few things you can do to appear more influential, more significant more in-command.
The Power pose
Postures that symbolise an air of confidence, i.e. “power poses” — as explained in a TED talk by Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy — are scientifically proven to make you appear and feel more like a leader.
Quite obvious in this image, power poses involve stretching out, occupying more space, standing tall, or opening yourself up as opposed to low power poses which generally involve making yourself seem smaller.
Wear a suit jacket
Notice the transformation: Almost the same outfit i.e. t-shirt and jeans and t-shirt and jeans with a business blazer over it.
There’s no denying it that the suit jacket has been the standard in business for many years, and unlike the tie, it isn’t going away any time soon.
Take the picture at slightly below eye level
Avoid getting your photo taken from above, it’s like someone is looking down on you. Often happens with selfies… Unfortunately this harms your perceived influence resulting in you appearing less important.
On the other hand, by taking your photos from just below eye level, others subconsciously feel like “looking up to you.”
Make the headshot look like it was taken by a professional
Ponder this: Would the CEO of an ASX 200 company use a holiday pic or a selfie on his LinkedIn profile?
My guess is No. Simply because for a successful person, hiring a professional photographer for a headshot is not that big a deal. They need a photo, they engage a professional – no dilly dallying.
If you can’t afford a professional photographer, there are a few things that you can do.
- Find a plain wall for your background, preferably near a window.
- Do not stand in direct sunlight, rather let the light from the window fall on your face.
- If using a smart phone, make sure there’s enough light or the photo will be grainy.
- Avoid using the Smartphone flash as the photos are not flattering.
- Use an App like Snapseed or PicMonkey to edit your pic and remember to crop your photo.
Here are some more tips on how to prepare for your photo shoot.
And voila! You’re on your way to collecting a million likes.