Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Many social media networks give you the option of putting up a profile photo of yourself. On more casual social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, a more “interesting” or even subpar profile picture is acceptable. However, the professional networking site LinkedIn is a whole other story, as any engine internet marketing search specialist will tell you.
LinkedIn is for professionals, through which could be your next job opportunity, whether you are looking for marketing jobs in Los Angeles CA or a career in human resources. Your headshot will be the first image that your potential employers see, which means you’ll want a photo that will impress. Too many LinkedIn users are guilty of common photo faux pas that make them far less professional than they could be.
Your profile pic on LinkedIn should, naturally, be of high quality. This means an out-of-focus or blurry photo is unacceptable, as well as lighting that barely reveals your facial features.
Make sure your picture is an up-to-date photo of you. That great picture you took of yourself in the mirror in college years ago just won’t work here. Also, a professional “Walmart portrait” background probably isn’t the greatest thing to post unless it’s very recent.
Random or odd images are acceptable on other social media sites, but probably not best for one where employers are checking you out, as any SEO Sacramento CA specialistwill attest. That photo of your dog will not help you look professional on your LinkedIn page.
If there’s a photo of you that makes you look mediocre in any way, don’t take the chance to post it on Linkedin. For example, if your face and smile form the shoulders up looks professional, yet you’re actually wearing a shirt that only reaches your midrift and have a considerable gut hanging out, you may want to consider another photo. That, or you can consult Photoshop and crop out the parts of you that are less than flattering.
Ideal LinkedIn profile photos are in color, but not too vivid. Although black and white can do you well if it’s done professionally, it won’t if it’s done on your mediocre camera.
There are profile picture styles that work extremely well in Facebook but not on LinkedIn. Pictures taken of you at a party with a drunken smile, you holding a baby, you posing close with your significant other, or pictures that mostly showcase your house or apartment isn’t a good idea for a LinkedIn profile picture. Pre-stylized photos, such as the Shepard Fairey Obama stencil photo of you, obviously wouldn’t be suitable on LinkedIn either. The point is to show your personality, but not to make it TOO personal.
A humorless, “all-business” shot of you looking coldly serious could be a turn-off to potential employers, as it may come off that you view smiling as a weakness. Also, the “look what an awesome professional I am” photo, with you standing with a microphone in your hand or standing before a podium, could give off vibes of self-importance. Also, the “I’m too gorgeous for you” headshot could give off self-important vibes; save your gorgeous headshot for your next acting job.
To achieve a great LinkedIn photo, contact a local professional studio photographer and explain that you want a professional-looking photo.