If you are looking for a job, trying to impress prospective clients or professional references then LinkedIn is the place to be. Founded in 2003, LinkedIn boasts more than 364 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Your next client, employee or boss is already there waiting to meet you.
So, are you ready to make a positive first impression? Start with your LinkedIn profile image because profiles which include images are seven times more likely to be viewed. And, it needs to be a good picture. Remember, this is a professional website, so choose a professional image to make that positive first impression and avoid these common mistakes.
Yes, it is nice that you have friends. They don’t belong in your profile image, unless of course you are 1/2 of a singing duo and expect to be hired together. This should be a picture of you. So leave the spouse, parent, friend or child(ren) on your Facebook page and select an image which tells someone you have come to work.
And the prohibition against others in your profile image extends to the four-legged kind. You wouldn’t walk into a networking event carrying your puppy, don’t use that image in your profile.
Having a bad day? Don’t want to have your picture taken? Too bad. Suck it up and smile. Life and business isn’t always about what you want to do.
Your photo needs to attract people and make them want to pick up the phone to call you. So comb your hair and smile.
Use a Recent Photo
Everyone has that one photo of themselves that they love; the outfit is great, you are just the right weight and having a wonderful hair day. But if that picture is more than a few years old it is time to get a new one.
Besides if you do get invited in for an interview or a sales call you don’t want the other person wondering why you sent your mom to make the presentation.
Dress for Success
Or dress for the job you want. The photo of you in your football uniform looked great in your yearbook. Unless you are applying for a job as an NFL quarterback, it doesn’t belong in your profile.
While I am on the subject of what not to wear, just say no to costumes, vacation apparel or clothing with any type of logo or graphic. The viewers attention should be on you, not trying to decipher the writing on your t-shirt.
LinkedIn is where professionals go to connect so it is easy to think the emphasis should be on your company, and not you. Wrong! Company logos belong on the company pages. Personal profiles are just that, personal. If you are trying to connect with former colleagues they won’t recognize the logo so you will miss a chance to expand your network.
A logo image says one of several things:
- You are hiding something
- You don’t know the LinkedIn terms of service (TOS) which prohibit use of a logo in your personal profile
- You don’t really want to network and connect with people.
Professional photo not required for LinkedIn profile image
While a professional photo is nice, it isn’t a requirement. You can create a perfectly respectable image if you will just spend a little time to find a good setting, preferably against a solid color wall. Make sure there is good lighting. Buy a new outfit, have your hair done then hand the camera to a friend. No selfies! Have them take multiple images so you have a few to choose from. Then upload the photo to LinkedIn and complete the rest of your profile.