Something many people dread about creating a LinkedIn profile is choosing their headshot. With good reason, since it's pretty easy to mess up. There are already many different types of LinkedIn photo "epic fails" on record--putting the pressure on us all to choose wisely.

It's not how much you spend. It's how likeable you look.

A big mistake people make is assuming they should spend money on a professional headshot. There's no evidence to support the notion that this kind of investment will help you get more people to view your profile and connect with you. Plus, there are plenty of free resources out there that can teach you how to take your own photo.

However, there are studies that show being "likeable" translates into looking more approachable, which results in more people connecting with you on LinkedIn. Therefore, you should consider making sure your profile pic has one key element: a smile. In fact, smiles where you show your teeth have a 50 percent better result than ones where your lips are closed.

Not photogenic? Skipping the profile pic isn't an option.

For those of you who think there is no such thing as a "good photo" of yourself, the answer isn't to leave it blank. Studies show LinkedIn profiles with no photo get skipped over. In fact, having a photo automatically makes it 14 times more likely your profile will get reviewed. Just make sure your photo doesn't fall into "what not to do" category, and you'll be OK.

Published on: May 18, 2016