You know the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words…” When your career or business is on the line, this is more than a maxim. Individuals, recruiters, and companies search for people every day on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, not having a profile picture puts you on the negative side of the search results algorithm. A profile without a picture is considered incomplete and gets served up at the bottom of search results.
I have used LinkedIn many times to look up the person I have a scheduled meeting with. I don’t have to sit at Starbucks with a Latte cooling in my hand wondering if the next person to walk in the door will be the person that I have only spoken to via phone. Knowing what they look like ahead of time makes for a smooth transition into an in-person meeting. (Tip: use the LinkedIn app for easy access away from the office.)
Now that I have you convinced to add that profile picture to your LinkedIn account, please note that not just any photo will do. You need to spend some time thinking about the best way to represent yourself visually on the LinkedIn platform.
Here are a few tips:
- No need to hire a photographer– grab a friend to take a shot with a digital camera or even a newer generation smart-phone.
- Dress appropriately for your career or industry.
- Begin with a great natural lighting situation- avoid using flash.
- Ensure the background is neutral- don’t stand in front of a busy background.
- Smile, if you can. If not, at least stay away from looking overly serious or unapproachable.
- Focus on getting a close-up head-shot or play around with cropping tools.
- Avoid phantom limbs in the photo (don’t crop out your spouse, don’t even use a group photo to begin with).
Additionally, don’t forget to create a custom Profile Banner to help you further stand out from the crowd.