What Does Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Say About You?
By Donna Van Derveer
Did you know LinkedIn profiles with pictures attract 50-70 percent more inquiries than profiles without pictures? And, according to Forbes, LinkedIn profiles with photos are seven times more likely to be clicked on than profiles without photos. If you’re on LinkedIn to get noticed and make professional connections, a quality professional photo is a must. You can get the most out of your LinkedIn profile by following simple picture guidelines.
Keep it Professional: LinkedIn is NOT Facebook
- Your photo should be a clear, close, front-facing shot where you look friendly and attentive.
- Photos should be current as there are few things worse than meeting someone for the first time and not recognizing them because the profile photo is from 10 years ago (or longer)! If you are concerned about age discrimination, ask the photographer to capture your more youthful side, or other brand attributes that you’d rather your audience focus on.
- Use a photo of YOU in your profile, not a photo of an object or animal.
- If possible, photos should be professionally done, if possible, but not glamour shots.
- Don’t have other people in your photos. Do not crop other people out of your shot.
- Wear your most complementary color. Bright colors can attract attention, but don’t go neon. Avoid patterns.
- “Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want!”
- Men: Wear a dark blue or black dress shirt. No t-shirts, Hawaiian shirts, or busy patterns.
- Women: No t-shirts or large busy patterns. Soft, dark v-necks look great. Black always works but try to avoid white. Apply make-up professionally with a gentle hand. Don’t over-accessorize: less is more.
Portray Power with Approachability
- Smile! Your face should radiate warmth and approachability.
- Relax. Look directly at the camera. Make sure that your eyes are open.
- Make sure the background in the photo isn’t distracting.
- Posture! Sit up straight with your shoulders back.
- Take multiple shots and ask others for their opinions photo expresses your friendly, professional nature.
- You want to show your energy and personality but always err to the side of conservative.
Size It Up
Once you have chosen your headshot, there are the specifics for uploading your photo you must follow for it to appear correctly. You can also choose who you want the photo to be visible to. According to LinkedIn’s help desk:
- You can upload JPG, GIF or PNG files.
- File size: 4MB maximum.
- Pixel size: 200 x 200 minimum and 500 x 500 maximum.
- Your photo should be square.
The Bottom Line
Remember that LinkedIn is a professional website. Your profile picture is no exception. Creating this online identity will enhance your personal brand. By allowing employers to see your face, you are creating a visual association to your brand. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is your profile picture is saying about you?