Whether you are creating a LinkedIn account to find a new job, building your brand, or want to maintain and create new professional relationships, it's important to get your profile picture right. It's usually the first thing people see when they find your post, and therefore the first impression that many people will make about you. So what makes a good--or bad--profile photo?
Here are our tips to make sure your profile shows your best side.
- Provide a quality photo in the first place. The first mistake on a professional profile is to not have a photo of yourself at all. LinkedIn is built on mutual trust and personal connection, so avoiding a photo of yourself can be suspicious, and leaves potential employers unable to verify your identity. Under this category is the mistake of uploading a picture that is too grainy, pixellated, or small. Not only can it be indiscernible is see, but it also leaves employers wondering how technically savvy you are. Always upload a quality photo first, then resize without it becoming pixellated.
- Use your best judgement when picking a photo. Sometimes, a photo of yourself relaxing in a social situation can be appropriate. But use good judgement when picking a casual photo--avoid ones where you are seen drinking or holding a drink, ones in a large crowd, or ones that can be compromising.
- Avoid selfies. Whether you use Photobooth, your arm, or a selfie stick, these photos usually do not come out well and show a lack of professionalism or care. Instead, get your photo professionally taken at a studio, or ask a friend with a good camera or your budding photography enthusiast to take your photo.
- Show personality related to your industry. A professional photo does not have to be boring. Rather than taking the typical route of yourself in a suit against a plain background, change the details a little to reflect where you work. For example, a professional shot of a musician with their instrument, or a baker in their bakery, shows a passion for their related work, without looking out-of-place. However, if you're a lawyer or a banker, it makes more sense to show yourself in professional garb. Overall, you can still maintain a professional look without looking too inappropriate.
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