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So often we forget or just don’t know how important first impressions are. This is especially important when looking for a job or trying to make connections with a potential customer. The big mistakes to avoid when posting a business profile photo are discussed below and if there is one thing you can do this week, it is tidy up your business profile photo.

A few months ago LinkedIn posted a guide to the perfect #workselfie which sparked a lot of interest and discussion about what makes a really good profile photo. Nobody wants to see your selfie in the mirror, or that photo where you’ve cropped yourself out of a group but we can still see your friends’ half cropped faces in the frame. These are not the kinds of things you want potential employers seeing because so often an interview begins when somebody searches for you online and make their first impression of you from your profile photo. Through LinkedIn data it was found that you are 14 times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a profile photo so we have curated a list to help you capture the best one.

Michael O'Brien Small business online accounts software

Not really an image you’d use for your profile on LinkedIn


Often the background of photos can be a distraction from the main focal point of the image so, to ensure all eyes are on you opt for a plain white or grey background or else an out of focus one. Lighting is also hugely important because, if used properly, it can effectively enhance your picture. Natural light is the best to use especially when taken at south-facing windows where the light hits you straight on which will compliment your face. Using a flash can be a risk as often it can cause shadows which can be harsh on faces so it’s best to only use flash if you know what you’re doing.

Not everyone has a DSLR to give them a great quality photo but if used right your smartphone can give you some great results. We recommend that you prop your phone on a shelf to form a makeshift tripod so that you can avoid that awkwardly long arm in the frame and set the timer function. Alternatively, if you’re a regular selfie-taker you might own a selfie stick which will work just as well! There is also a multitude of smartphone app’s that allow you to edit your images but be careful not to edit it so much that it doesn’t even look like you anymore.


Camera angles can have an impact on how dominant someone comes across as. Shooting down on somebody requires them to look up at the camera which, while it is a more flattering angle, it gives off the impression that they are less dominant which is not what you would like your clients to perceive you as. Women should look up slightly at the camera, while men should look directly at the camera placed at eye level. It is important to not centre yourself as it makes for a more interesting photo.

online accounts software

Professional photographer image but is your business attire smart causal?

The look

Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School social psychologist, found that 80-90% of first impressions are based on two qualities- trustworthiness and competence. These can both be detected in your profile photo so what’s the best way to show you’re trustworthy and competent? One way is to smile! Smiling with your mouth closed makes you less likeable than those who show teeth, according to research done by PhotoFeeler. Laughing while smiling makes you more liked but you are perceived as less competent and influential. Squinting makes you seem more confident and influential while wide eyes give off sense of vulnerability and uncertainty. Your outfit can also have a big impact on a first impression. Although it is important to keep it professional, it is possible to show your own personality by wearing colour as long as it isn’t a distracting pattern

Michael O'Brien Marekting Manager Online Accounting Software at Big Red Cloud

The dreaded crop with your friend’s hand. Avoid at all costs.

Smart causal or business attire
Directly related to the point above, you need to decide on what attire you are going to wear in your profile photo. If the dress sense at your business and in your industry is smart casual, then smart casual it is. On the other hand, if it is business formal, then please let it be business formal in your profile photo.

Whatever you choose to wear, even if you’re casually dressed, it will look decidedly better than a profile picture that is cropped and shows your best friend’s hand resting on your shoulder.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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