As a keen amateur photographer, I often look at profile pictures and think, “that is not helping your profile, you could really benefit from a professional image.”

We know that we are judged instantly by the way we look, and we are all aware of the phrase, 'you only get one chance to make a good first impression'.

So, what is your profile picture saying about you? Does it show you are Competent, as well as being Likeable and that you are Influential?

If you want to score highly on all these elements, your profile picture is key, and research suggests the following.

Full-body shots make someone seem less competent but more likable. (This would be good for Facebook, but maybe not for LinkedIn.) And sunglasses, glare or shadows across a face in a photo decrease both likability and competence.

I would strongly suggest that a second opinion from a peer is imperative when making your final choice. So, before you upload your photo, get some feedback from friends or colleagues, and ask them to be honest. “What does this picture say about me?”.

For me personally, I’m going to change my profile picture, and I may ask you for feedback when I do.