We’ve gone over LinkedIn profiles before on the blog, since it’s a great way to showcase who you are for potential employers. Today, we’re going to focus on one aspect of building a strong LinkedIn profile—your photo. As the idiom goes, a picture speaks a thousand words. And in this case those words are about why you should or shouldn’t be taken seriously in the workplace. Just recently, we had a talk at work because one of our recruiters stumbled upon a LinkedIn profile featuring someone holding pint of beer. Unless you’re a brewer, this isn't a prime choice. It’s true that LinkedIn is a social media network, but the big difference is that it’s a professional network.
[caption id="attachment_4555" align="aligncenter" width="268"] A great LinkedIn infographic[/caption]
So, here are some key tips to keep in mind when selecting (or creating) your LinkedIn profile:
First, make sure the picture you use is high quality. We’ve mentioned this before, but it is so important. You don’t want your picture to look like a tiny, shrunken little blip on the screen, you want to make sure it takes up the entire frame and is not pixelated, distorted or compressed.
Second, think about the purpose of this image. You want to quickly convince someone you should be taken seriously enough to participate in their workplace. So, just as you would in an interview, think critically about what you wear, and how your mannerisms convey what you want. This means a friendly or approachable expression (no glaring angrily please). It also means thinking about your clothing. Not every field warrants or looks for someone wearing a suit, but nonetheless, plan your clothing out to make sure it’s not heavily patterned, jarring or super revealing. This means your wedding photo or vacation photo are not your best options for communicating your professionalism.
Lastly, think about scale. You want this photo to feature you—not other people. You want your employer to know who they’re looking at and to trust you from your photo. So, a photo taken from a mile away, featuring all of your friends is a definite no for this purpose. Group shots, or photos where you a tiny speck on the horizon are a no-go for this social networking site.
Once you’ve made sure you’re photo is a positive, trust-worthy and true representation of you as a professional, you’re ready to go. After all, for better or worse, people spend a good amount of time looking at your photo when working on the hiring process. Make it count and work to your advantage!