EBA Students Spearhead Innovative Solution to LinkedIn Profile Pictures

EBA Students Spearhead Innovative Solution to LinkedIn Profile Pictures

HeadStart aims to enhance students' LinkedIn profiles 

In an exciting display of entrepreneurship, a group of EBA (Entrepreneurial Business Administration) students from Wittenborg in Amsterdam has unveiled an innovative startup aimed at addressing a pressing need among their peers: professional LinkedIn profile photos.  

Branded as 'HeadStart', the venture offers tailored photography services designed to boost students' presence on LinkedIn and improve their prospects in the job market.  

Spearheaded by Wittenborg students, Arsenii Vinnitskii, Leila Keller and Narges Najafi, this new venture emerged as a result of their class projects guided by Senior Lecturer Andreas Ooijer.  

When asked about how they came up with the idea, Narges explained that she is a professional photographer. "I have always thought about the fact that I need a new photo for my LinkedIn profile. I also checked the app and saw that most people don't have nice photos. I also have some friends who are in the job market. When they were searching for a job, they always asked me, 'When do you have time to take a picture for my profile?'"

Your LinkedIn profile photo is often the first impression you make on others. Surprisingly, research reveals that 70% of LinkedIn users either have no profile photo or are using one that is sub-par. What's more intriguing is that employers and recruiters spend about 19% of their time on LinkedIn profiles just looking at profile pictures. Narges and the team also noticed that students are not necessarily concerned about having a professional-looking photo for their LinkedIn profiles. And as a student, you don't think about it until you have to apply for a job and realise how competitive the market is.  

EBA Students Spearhead Innovative Solution to LinkedIn Profile Pictures

That's where HeadStart comes in. As Leila explains, many photographers in the Netherlands are really expensive, which means that a lot of students cannot afford to pay for these kinds of services. For this reason, they've introduced two packages: The Basic Profile Package of €14, for instance, offers one professional portrait along with essential services such as an intake meeting, posing training, styling and a photo shoot, with the option to add extra services at additional cost.

The Premium Profile Package, at €45, includes five professional portraits, an intake meeting, up to five different poses, styling and a photo shoot, along with guidance on LinkedIn dos and don'ts.

Narges further explains that the first step in the process is talking to their customers to get an idea of what they would like. They also give some instructions on what to wear and how to pose. "They share their expectations and then we take their photos. We take as many as we can, and they decide which one they like the most."

Arsenii adds that another competitive advantage they have is that they try to get the photos to their clients as quickly as possible. "We know that students are busy with work and their studies. We've compared other businesses, whose sessions for one photo can take from 45 minutes to an hour. We wanted to streamline the process, make it faster for our customers, but also maintain a certain touch of personalisation and customer care."   

EBA Students Spearhead Innovative Solution to LinkedIn Profile Pictures

The group believes that they can take this idea far beyond the classroom.  

They are now setting their sights on promoting their services at other universities and study associations. They also want to promote it on social media, particularly Instagram.  

Arsenii emphasises the importance of first impressions when browsing LinkedIn profiles or CVs, stating, "You spend a lot of time looking at the profile picture when you first visit a LinkedIn profile. Research shows that you need only a fraction of a second to actually make a judgement about a person."  

Looking forward, besides promoting photography services, the group is exploring personal branding strategies to help individuals improve their LinkedIn profiles, which is essentially what LinkedIn is all about.  

Arsenii adds that their goal is to enhance individuals' online presence, especially for students entering the job market with little work experience. He believes a strong LinkedIn profile offers a significant advantage: "We're trying to maximise their online presence," he continues. "Of course, it will not be the main factor in the decision-making process of hiring someone or not but, for a person who's just starting, particularly students, it is a great boost."

Students interested in their services can reach out via WhatsApp at +98 93 9680 6838, by phone on +31 62 70 23630, or through email at narges2288@gmail.com. 

WUP 19/04/2024 
by Erene Roux 
©WUAS Press