Whether you’re looking for a new job or using social media to connect and network with other professionals, you need to use LinkedIn. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Yeah Anne, we know.” But do you really? Is your LinkedIn profile picture portraying the most professional version of you? Here are some areas where your LinkedIn profile might need some work.
You Need to Have a Photo
This sounds like common sense right? Wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I get on LinkedIn to look up another business professional or colleague to connect with and they don’t have a photo. Literally, there’s no photo at all. If you have time to fill out the rest of your LinkedIn profile and not upload a photo, something is wrong. If you have an avatar for your Facebook profile and your Twitter profile, you certainly know how to upload one for LinkedIn.
Companies are looking at your social network profiles more than your resume. Most companies will go straight to your LinkedIn profile before even reading your resume. Upload a picture! It doesn’t have to be taken by a professional photographer, but you need to have one. That leads me to my next point:
You Need to Look Professional
You don’t have to hire a photographer to take head shots for your LinkedIn profile, but you do need to look as if you are submitting your picture as part of the job application process. Do not use pictures you took of yourself in the mirror. That is extremely unprofessional. That means no selfies that you snapped in the bathroom while you were on your lunch break or in between classes. If your phone is visible in the photo, it shouldn’t be on your LinkedIn profile. Also, make sure what you are wearing in your photo is business appropriate. No crop tops or tank tops. A plain button down shirt or blouse might not accurately represent your personal style, but tough luck. No recruiter is going to consider hiring someone who has their stomach on display in their LinkedIn profile photo. I get it, what you wear shouldn’t determine whether or not you can do the job, but this is the world we live in folks. Just play by the rules on LinkedIn and save those halter tops and t-shirts for the weekend.
Make Sure Your Photo is Recent
Haven’t updated your avatar in a few years? You should do that. Like right now. Have you changed your hair, lost weight, gained weight or done some Botox? Your LinkedIn avatar needs to reflect what you currently look like. If recruiters or business owners are looking at your LinkedIn profile, they want to see a recent photo. You don’t have to tell anyone how old you are, but you don’t want your LinkedIn profile photo to be a decade younger than you are. The last thing you want to hear when walking into an interview is, “Oh wow. You look so different from your LinkedIn profile photo.” Save yourself the embarrassment and update your photo.
LinkedIn is a professional social network which can open a lot of doors whether you’re looking for a job or new business contacts. Don’t turn away potential business connections because you don’t have a profile picture, your profile picture is unprofessional or it’s out of date. Keep your LinkedIn page looking flawless and you’ll land that job interview or meeting with a new client.