If you're contemplating a change in your LinkedIn profile picture, you'd be well advised to read this article first. A recent study published in the Psychological Science Journal, found that different pictures of the same person produce markedly different first impressions. Does a smiling profile picture infer a positive attitude, or does it suggest that you don't take things too seriously? You can even go a step further and submit your next photo to Photofeeler, a photo-ranking website, to learn what your profile picture says about you. Do you appear competent, likable or influential? I'm not sure I'm brave enough to send mine across!
In one site-run study, 60,000 participants ranked 800 profile pictures. Among the findings: Full-body shots make someone seem less competent but more likable. (Takeaway: fine for Facebook, but not for LinkedIn.) And sunglasses, glare or shadows across a face in a photo decrease both likability and competence.