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Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

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How to make (not break) your first impression – Darain Faraz, Senior Manager for Corporate Communications at LinkedIn


Darain Faraz is Senior Manager for Corporate Communications at LinkedIn. Darain has had over twelve years’ international communications experience, working for businesses like Fox Interactive Media, MySpace and WWF’s Earth Hour initiative before joining LinkedIn in 2011. 

Darain Faraz
Darain Faraz

Newsflash – Your ‘professional brand’ is your essential ticket to success! It may seem a tad overstated, but think about it… this encompasses a range of critical career aspects… from who’s in your network to how you voice your opinion, even what you wear. Given its wide range, it’s something that requires a little time and effort to perfect. 

We commissioned our New Norms @Work study to better understand how workers from around the globe are reshaping their professional brands for the modern workplace. Here’s what the professional women from across the UK told us:

  • Over half (51%) of female professionals would judge a colleague based on their appearance, with younger women being most likely to do so
  • Women feel most under pressure to impress in the workplace, with more than a quarter (27%) feeling they are more likely to be judged on what they wear to work than men
  • Almost half (45%) describe themselves as “yes” employees
  • A fifth (20%) of women now think more carefully about their LinkedIn profile photo than their image on other social networks
  • A fifth (20%) of women would judge a colleague based on their LinkedIn profile picture

The findings reveal that the way UK women perceive themselves and others in a professional context is changing. Appearances and the power of the first impression are more important than ever.

To help you make the perfect first impression, we’ve teamed up with professional photographer, Lee Coles, to share some tips for putting your best professional foot forward when it comes to your professional profile image:

Do be aware of your surroundings:

Using a background such as a white wall in the office or at home will ensure the focus is purely on your face and not on what is behind you. Make sure the wall is clear of any pictures, signs or people who could photo bomb you!

Do think about what you’re wearing:

And how much of it you want in your photo. Head and shoulders make the best pictures, meaning an off-the-shoulder top might not give you quite the right look for your ‘professional brand’.

You also don’t want anything too distracting. Don’t be afraid to use colour though; it’s all about mirroring your personality.

Don’t do a cliché selfie:

Pouting, sparrow face, the bathroom, the restaurant, the seatbelt, the gym. These are just some of the images that don’t have a place on your LinkedIn profile. Employers, colleagues and recruiters will quickly be able to tell if your image is an unnatural or forced version of you, so try a few different expressions and make sure you smile or laugh.

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