Should You Photoshop Your LinkedIn Photo?
How much Photoshop editing should go into your LinkedIn photo, is a subject you’ve probably not put much thought into before. You’re either someone who is well-versed with filters on social-media, or someone who’s scarcely touched them to enhance your photographs. It might not seem like a big deal, but your decision of how you present yourself visually online can have a very large impact on your brand.
Is it a good idea to Photoshop your LinkedIn profile photo?
My answer is almost always this: it’s okay to photoshop and edit imperfections away, but steer clear of photo edits that attempt to mask/cover who you are. This rule applies whether you’re a salesperson on LinkedIn, or uploading a profile picture to a dating app.
We’ve all had bad-hair days, acne outbreaks, sleepless nights… As such, I do not think it is a problem to introduce light retouching to tame one’s hair, or ease bloodshot eyes in a photo – these imperfections come and go, from one day to the next. I don’t think anyone would consider it disingenious removing a troublesome zit from your forehead as it will probably be gone next week!
When LinkedIn photo editing fails
On the other hand, imagine attending a interview, or consultation and the person you’re meeting looks 20 years older and 3 stone heavier compared to their photo. You would instantly be aware something is ‘off’ with this individual; how could you trust what is written in their CV, or judge their business proposition if they’ve shown traces of deception in how they’ve presented themselves online? You may think it’s harmless and that we shouldn’t judge people by their images, but the unfortunate truth is that society very much does. It’s not HOW you look by conventual standards of beauty, it’s the perception of honesty when you present yourself online and in person.
This is particularly true if your business/brand is structured around ‘selling your image’ (think personal trainer). I would much rather book a session with an honest 40-old mom who is looking great for her age, than book a trainer who clearly has overexaggerated their ‘gains’ on their social media… How could I trust their workout programme if they’re relying on photoshop to mask the flaws in their own workout programme?
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In conclusion, ignore the temptation to give yourself a head start online by trying to photoshop your LinkedIn photo and posting a false ‘you’. Build the perception of an honest and approachable person – you will be better off in the long term.