A series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face. That’s 0.1 seconds, as quick as a blink of an eye.

So, what does your Linkedin profile picture say about you and does it really matter?

Your profile picture is a critically important part of your Linkedin presence. In just those short few seconds, people will form their opinions and assumptions based on how you look in your photo. While you may not think your picture has no bearing on whether people want to do business with you or not, unfortunately it does.

If your Linkedin picture is letting your brand or business down, then it’s time for a new one.

In this article, we look at my top tips for creating a great profile image.

1. Look like you. Please.

Of all the LinkedIn photo tips, this is the most important. I know its tempting to use a photo thats 10 or more years old, but you really need to look like you in your current profile image. Maybe youre one of those lucky ones who hasnt changed in the past 10 years, but most of us have. Embrace the person you are now. Its not about trying to impress people with the younger version of yourself. Make sure you have an up-to-date photo of yourself ( no more then 3 years) that looks natural and not overly photoshopped. Would that person recognise you if you had to meet tomorrow?

2. Invest time and money in a professional, quality photograph.

Whether you run your own business, or hold a position in a company, investing in a professional headshot or portrait is very important. It shows you value yourself and the work you do. Selfies and casual snaps of you just wont cut it if you want to build a strong business brand. If you work for a company that values great headshots, lucky you, most of the work is done for you! If you are building your own brand or are a freelancer, its an investment worth making.

3. If you don’t take your business seriously, chances are others won’t take you seriously either.

A good professional profile image does say a lot about you. It shows you take pride in your work and business. A headshot doesnt always have to be serious, but make it a point for your clients to take you seriously. It’s an investment in your brand, marketing and ultimately in your credibility.

4. Engage with your client.

Connection is key. A profile image should show your true essence and bring out the characteristics of not only of yourself, but what you and and your business stand for. It should be strong, inviting and give people the confidence that they will be dealing with the right person.

A smile also goes a long way too. It shows likability, friendliness and trustworthiness.

5. Use the right photo.

Use a high quality image that doesn’t isn’t low in resolution, appear grainy or distorted. A square crop at 400 x 400 pixels is ideal.

Avoid cropping yourself out of a group photo and most importantly, make sure you are the only person in the photo. Aim to have your face fill in at least 60% of the frame.

6. Present the right look.

If youre a travel agent, great! A photo in Tahiti does sound nice. If youre not, dont post a picture of you holding a mojito with palm trees as your profile picture. Your image really does need to reflect the business you are in. So, whether you are in the corporate arena or a creative, make sure your attire, look and backgrounds reflect this.

7. Find the photographer that brings out the best in you.

Many people feel uncomfortable and out of their comfort zone when being photographed. Take the time to find the photographer that is right for you. Does their work resonate with you and do you love their style? Dont be afraid to call them and have a chat to see whether you connect and have instant rapport. It makes all the difference on the day of your shoot.