LinkedIn currently hosts over 400,000,000 users. But those potential connections don’t mean anything unless you can make the right impression.
Your profile is eleven times more likely to be viewed if it has a profile picture, but don’t just copy and paste your current Facebook pic.
Having the right picture is crucial.
A professionally taken picture will always be best. It’s a worthy investment, but if you need to get out there right now, here are a few tips to help you get the perfect, job-winning LinkedIn profile picture:
- You’d (hopefully) never show up to an interview in a t-shirt, and your LinkedIn photo should reflect that. ALWAYS wear professional clothes in your photo. The term “professional clothes” can vary from industry to industry, so pick what is appropriate.
To selfie, or not to selfie?
- You can take a photo of yourself, but be wary of the angles you employ. For a selfie, take it straight on, preferably from the chest up. It’s usually best to grab a friend and have them take the picture, that way your arms aren’t awkwardly positioned in the frame. In addition, a photo that is too close can make viewers uncomfortable.
- Do NOT take a photo from a past event and crop other people out of the frame. This photo is part of your digital resume, and resumes are strictly solo. And yes, employers can totally see your friend’s shoulder.
- Just because you did get professional photos taken, doesn’t always mean they are appropriate. Do NOT use photos from your wedding, graduation, or any other non-professional event. However, if you have a professional photo session coming up, bring a shirt and blazer with you and get a couple specialty business shots.
Instagram? No thank you ma’am.
- Instagram has taught us how to use filters like a pro, but it’s best to avoid them. A future employer will likely not be impressed that you know how to apply a Sepia tint.
- Do NOT use a photo taken at night, or worse, outside at night. Demon-eyes do not make you look like a reliable employee. It’s best to use natural, sunny, lighting.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…
- Your picture is supposed to look like you! What’s the first thing you do when you meet someone? You smile. It’s a natural human emotional cue to indicate that you are safe, nice, and welcoming. No matter how artsy you are, no staring pensively into the distance, no duck face, and no maniacal laughter either. Humans rely heavily on eye contact for social relationships, so look in to the camera and no sunglasses, ever. A nice warm, regular smile is all you need.
Well-lit + Professional + Welcoming = one Great LinkedIn Profile Picture.
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