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How to leverage AI to get a desirable LinkedIn picture

AI is shaking up the professional scene in all aspects, even when it comes to headshots. Ever since digital resumes became a thing, headshots have been a crucial element of an individual’s online resume, and nowhere is this more evident than on LinkedIn. This professional networking platform is the perfect spot for a potential employer or collaborator to scope out your history, making the photo you choose quite significant. While you can capture some impressive shots with a high-quality camera phone, there’s a notable gap between a hasty selfie and a polished professional headshot.

Getting professional headshots can be pricey, involving a trip to the salon for a haircut and a visit to a studio, maybe even with multiple outfit changes. Nowadays, social media is flooded with companies claiming to offer budget-friendly AI-generated headshots. This guide is here to help you navigate the process of creating an AI headshot that enhances your professional image rather than becoming a regrettable move.

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AI headshot explained

An AI-made headshot is basically a picture of someone crafted using one or more of their existing images. There are tons of situations where someone might opt for an AI headshot, but it usually boils down to wanting to enhance or switch up their appearance. And that’s totally fine because, let’s face it, professional photographers wouldn’t have a job if appearances didn’t matter.

If you’re turning to AI for a LinkedIn headshot, the goal is to get that polished, professional look without breaking the bank or dealing with practical challenges. You might toss in snapshots of yourself from a night out, in your comfiest PJs, or in less-than-ideal lighting, then let the AI work its magic to create convincing images of you suited up in a lab or at a podium. The top-notch results can then be added to your LinkedIn profile, and your future employer will be none the wiser. Well, at least that’s the plan.

Which AI image generator to use

AI image-making services are sprouting up left and right. As with any new industry, there’s a range of quality from the top-notch to the not-so-great. While it’s not feasible to list every service out there, here are some handy tips for choosing a service that’ll do the trick for your LinkedIn headshot.

Before you can whip up a headshot, many services ask you to create an account. Be cautious about locking yourself into a long-term commitment right away. Every tool promises speedy, top-notch headshots with examples that might seem perfect for what you need. But, truth be told, you won’t know if it’s up to snuff until you’ve witnessed the AI magic on your own face. Lucky for you, many services give free trials or let you make small one-time payments to test the waters.

AIs learn from data, and when it comes to image generators, some are trained on everyday pics, while others focus on pro headshots. You definitely want the latter. Steer clear of AIs that are just hopping on the headshot trend. Make sure the app or website is all about professional headshots and not just one of the many things it dabbles in.

In the pro world, not all AIs are equally amazing. Sure, there are freebies that can spit out headshots, but chances are, it won’t be the kind of pic you’d proudly slap on your LinkedIn profile. Lots of companies are hyping up their headshot-making services. While most of the ads are probably on the up-and-up, it’s smart to dig into things before you commit to a service or start handing over your personal info.

A legit AI headshot maker will prompt you to toss in up to 30 pics of yourself. From there, it cooks up a spot-on, unique, and pro-grade headshot. The more pics you throw in, the slicker the result.

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How to add AI headshot to LinkedIn

Before you splash the cash, take the time to narrow down your options. After all, reaching the level of time and money a traditional pro headshot demands is no small feat. So, why not invest a fraction of that time to make sure you’ve landed a top-notch service?

A good tool lets you tweak the background or style of your pic. Give a couple of options a whirl. Don’t get bummed if your first try doesn’t wow you. Acing the AI game usually takes a few rounds. Mix up the input photos, cues, and general instructions until you nail the result you’re after.

We’re dealing with your professional rep here, so tread lightly. You can whip up a decent, professional headshot with budget AI services, but it’s also easy to end up with a pic that does more harm than good to your reputation.