The photo you select for your LinkedIn profile is very important. One of the main ways that we decide whether to trust someone or not is based on their face. If you do not include a photo in your profile, you could be overlooked for potential career or job opportunities. Lets explore how to make sure you have an attention grabbing LinkedIn photo
One of the first things a recruiter looks at when they search for candidates on LinkedIn is your LinkedIn photo. The type of LinkedIn photo you have on your profile, can say a lot about you. It can tell the recruiter that you are serious about finding a job. A good LinkedIn photo can also signal that you are professional. Your LinkedIn photo will also appear every time that you post in a group or someone visits your profile. Below you will learn how to choose a photo which will help to present yourself at a top candidate and create opportunities for you on the LinkedIn network.
Use a headshot
Firstly the LinkedIn photo that you choose should be a headshot. When images are viewed as a thumbnail, they have a tendency to appear smaller. This means that any image taken from the waist up or a full body shot will probably not be clear. It is also advisable not to use images such as animals or cartoons, which are in any case, against LinkedIn’s policy.
Chose the right background
Secondly you should make sure that the image of your face is clearly defined against the background. Images that may appear clear when they are full sized are often not much more than a blur when they are thumbnail sized. You want to have a background color which contrasts with your face and you should make sure that there are no distracting details in the background. Most people tend to use a white background for their LinkedIn photos as this is one of the least distracting backgrounds to use.
Think about your audience
Thirdly if possible, its a great idea to select a LinkedIn photo that reflects either your personality or sector you represent. You should appear professional but in a way which still retains a professional and business like appearance. For example, if you work in IT or media, you might choose to adopt a slightly more casual appearance that reflects the way people in your sector are likely to dress. However, if you are in a more corporate environment such as law or accounting, you might want to be photographed wearing more formal attire. Take a look at your photo and ask yourself what it says about you and who you are trying to appeal to.
Remember to smile
Fourthly you want to make sure that you smile when LinkedIn photo is taken. Smiling is important in getting people to trust you. Think of the impression you create when someone sees your photograph for the first time. It’s the next best thing to them meeting you face to face. People who smile immediately give the impression that they are approachable, open and friendly. All of which are the type of qualities you’ll want to convey to a potential future employer.
The importance of your photograph should not be underestimated. Remember you only need to provide one so make sure that it represents you in the best possible light.
Yvonne Akinmodun is a HR and career expert with 20+ years’ experience. She is the founder and CEO of careercoachingmatters, a site dedicated to helping people solve their own career problems. Do you have questions about your career? Click here to book a FREE consultation session