We’re currently living in an age where having an electronic resume is equally as important as having an up to date CV. A recent Forbes article on the importance of LinkedIn revealed that if someone Google searches your name, your LinkedIn profile will most likely show up in the first or second spot.

But what’s so important about the first and second spot of a Google search result? According to a recent Gravitate Online Study, the first and second spot tend to get 50% of all of the clicks when someone searches for a specific keyword on Google. If someone Googles your name, your LinkedIn profile will most likely be someone’s first impression. And while your work and educational experiences are undoubtedly important parts of creating the perfect first impression, having a professional looking profile picture is equally essential to your success.

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But what constitutes as a great LinkedIn Profile picture?

  • A headshot: (a photo that focuses on the face and shoulder area)
  • A photo that’s friendly looking, which makes you seem approachable, while truthfully reflecting who you really are
  • A neutral background that doesn’t draw attention away from the focal point: you, of course!

Unfortunately, not everyone has easy access to state of the art cameras and professional photographers. Luckily for them, the BeFunky Photo Editor can help you transform a basic photo into a clean, crisp, professional looking photo perfect for your LinkedIn profile page.

If you don’t have any professional looking pictures, a good place to start is with the BeFunky Crop tool. Not sure where the Crop tool is? Here’s a screenshot that shows you where it’s located…right there in the Edit panel.

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We’re going to start off by cropping the photo, so the subject is the picture’s one and only focal point. Just click and drag to adjust the selected area.

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Although there are multiple Aspect Ratio options, the Freeform tab gives you the freedom to crop an image into whatever shape and size you want (you can also use some of BeFunky’s shortcuts, like holding down the Shift key during cropping to use Freeform, to get the same results…wink wink). However, I felt like the Square aspect ratio would work best here, so I decided on that instead.

The cropped region is the portion of the original picture that I’m going to keep. Now all I have to do is click the blue checkmark on the left hand corner of the screen and we’re good to go.

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If the combination of the colors and sterile lighting together makes your photo’s sharpness and lighting a bit dull, the perfect solution lies in the Sharpness tool. Click on the Edit menu, and then click on “Sharpen”, then adjust the slider to your liking.

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You can always also use the “Smart Sharpen” feature for a slightly more natural look by clicking the little diamond to the right like I did here, but hey, you do you.

The next step involves taking advantage of BeFunky’s lovely filters—in this case, the Chromatic filter. The Chromatic filter will allow the image in the foreground to really “pop”, so I’m going to go ahead and pick Chromatic 2. If you see an effect you really like, just click the star to save it to your favorites. 

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In order to make the photo look even better, it’s time for the magic of the Auto Enhance feature (conveniently located at the top of the Edit menu):

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Here’s what the photo looks like, post Auto Enhance:

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Now that we’ve cleaned things up a bit, the photo has been transformed into a professional looking headshot ready for its LinkedIn debut. All I have to do in order to make that happen is to click on the blue checkmark, download the photo and save a copy on my computer’s hard drive.

While I’m busy doing that, you should probably get started on making your LinkedIn photo look a hundred times better.

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