LinkedIn is a professional network. In most cases this will require a different type of profile photo than other Social Media Networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. LinkedIn requires a professional portrait photo, but how do you determine what that looks like?
Whether you are looking for a new job or you want to tighten relations with your current business relations, people will often search for your profile on LinkedIn. It should go without saying that your CV is up to date, but many of us still hang on to that photo we uploaded the first day we signed up for the network.
I know we shouldn’t discuss taste, but there are few rules that may be handy to follow.
7 tips for a good LinkedIn profile photo:
- Be recognisable – Make sure that people who have seen your photo do not recognise you when they meet you in person for the first time. My advice is to use a recent photo, where your most eye catching features are similar to the way you look now. For example, if you had longer hair and had glasses when your photo was taken, but have short hair and contacts now, it’s time for a new photo.
- Just you – Be the only one in the picture. No partner, no kids, no friends or pets (regardless of how cute that cat may be). It’s also not advisable to have a someone else’s arm or head chopped off in your photo after cropping.
- Let me see your eyes – Look into the lens. That will show some confidence and make you reliable. Looking away, sunglasses or even a hat that hides your eyes will not work in your advantage.
- Smile – Show people a natural smile, with or without some teeth. A smile will make you more inviting than that strict gaze. Also, smiling will make the muscles around your eyes contract resulting in sharper looking eyes.
- Head and Shoulders – LinkedIn uses ridiculously small images for profile photos. Therefore it’s important to show your face and part of your neck and shoulders. The rest of your beautiful body will only distract from what people want to see: your face.
- Dress professionally – There is no standard outfit that works for everyone. This means you can wear a jacket, a tailored suit and tie or just a plain white shirt. The only condition is that you wear something that matches the job.
- Quality matters – Even in the smallest possible file sizes quality is important. Therefore it’s advisable not to use that photo that you took with a crappy phone camera in low light or enlarge even smaller photos to fit the frame.
And now that you know all this, don’t hesitate to defy the rules.
- Headshot Friday: You desperately need a new professional headshot but you just never get around going to a photographer? On Fridays, I will come to your work space and take photos of you and of anyone who wants a new headshot.