LinkedIn is the most popular social networking site to rack up your work credentials and show you are a serious player with 225 million members doing exactly that. Your LinkedIn profile picture should accurately reflect who you are as a professional. When users are searching for you, or land on your profile, your picture is the first thing your future employer will see. Perhaps there’s no such thing as an ugly person, but there is such a thing as an ugly photo.
“In a world of quick clicks and divergent attention, if the photo you present isn’t eye-catching, or illustrative of your personal brand, you may miss your shot at making a positive first impression.” [Matt Silverman in Mashable.com]
Here are 8 definite don’ts when creating your LinkedIn profile pic:-
- Be grainy or pixelated – This shows potential employers a lack of care and attention to detail. Fortunately we have a handy tip for you. Check out Repixl whom we met recently at start up event. They can professionally edit your photo make it look awesome and send it back to you within a day.
- Take a selfie – Using a webcam or iphone to take a picture showing half your arm in the process is a big no-go area. Surely you must have some friends who can take a snap of you.
- Be too artsy – If you want to be different then ensure that it’s appropriate to your industry. If you’re the Head of Creative at some cool company then it’s totally right to have a sketch, avatar or something off the wall, after all it’s another channel to showcase your talent. If you’re an associate at a law firm, stick to a headshot (unless you want out)!
- Be the party guy – No party pictures please, keep them on Facebook. LinkedIn is far too stuffy for any sort of real personality to shine through. Remember it’s a professional network so select your picture accordingly. If you wear a suit to work wear a suit, if you wear a t-shirt to work wear one of those, I’m sure you don’t go to work after 9 gin & tonics and 3 jägerbombs. If you do then fair play I suppose.
- Have no picture – Recruiters tend to put those with (good) pictures to the top of the pile when it comes to applicants. And – yes – whether you’ve applied through social media or not, you will be referenced with LinkedIn at some point. So if you have no face then there is uncertainty there. Having a semi-decent photo of you is better than having no photo at all.
- Use a group photo – People want certainty about the person their dealing with. LinkedIn is the world’s most powerful networking tool, if I’m having to guess which person you are from your picture and you’re suggesting we meet up then subconsciously I’ll be less inclined to do so.
- Be unrecognisable – If you’re a tiny dot in vast landscape then what good is that? Similarly if you’re walking down a beach with your back to the camera then that will just annoy a potential recruiter who is trying to see if you’re the type of person that they might like to hire. Also, manage expectations, recruiting is like dating, if you look 35 in your LinkedIn picture and a 55 year old walks through the door, no only will I feel duped, I’m not sure I’ll be able to concentrate on anything you say at the interview.
- Post a fake photo – Please no pictures of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie or anyone that’s not you! Although the comedy factor may be there for your friends, here’s guessing they probably don’t think it’s that funny anyway, the majority of people on LinkedIn don’t know you outside the work environment, so keep it real. Unless you want to appear like the class clown, in which case go right ahead.
So there it is folks, keep it simple avoid the pitfalls listed above and increase your chances of career success.
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Read more about some awesome culture ideas here: http://blog.talentrocket.co.uk/43-company-culture-ideas-actually-work/