We should never underestimate the importance of social media, and when looking to progress your career it’s LinkedIn that many people turn to as a first port of call. If you are an employer looking to put substance to recommended names that have been suggested by peers, or if you are a recruiter looking to formulate a long-list of candidates, LinkedIn is an essential reference site.
Most of the info you display in your profile is purely factual, functional historic information and it’s up to you how much you want to display. If you take this social platform seriously and want to get the most out of it, then you’re advised to display as much info as possible, get your profile fully complete and upload a profile picture.
Profile pictures do matter!
It’s important to give off the right impression to perspective new employers and co-workers, so worth picking an appropriate photo to use as your profile pic.
What’s appropriate and fun to use on Facebook isn’t necessarily going to work for you on LinkedIn and some of the howlers I’ve seen include:
- Party pictures with drinks in hand
- Women trying their best to look slutty
- Group shots, especially if obviously taken on a night out
- Cheesy holiday snaps, wearing beachwear
- Comedy photos in general are a bad idea
- Blokes trying too hard to be seen as cool, or being overtly blokey
It’s not difficult to get a respectable profile picture and not doing so can only work against you, so why run the risk?
One employer actually made the point of stressing this to me about a particular candidate he was extremely close to making a job offer to.
“He’s a great guy, really good, and very impressive…but why does he have that appalling picture on his LinkedIn page? It really does nothing for him and actually works against him.”
Follow some simple guidelines and you’re never going to fail with your profile picture:
- Do have a profile picture!
- Make sure you are in focus and with decent lighting
- Keep it approachable, professional, not too informal but not too formal either
- Make sure the size is right and that people can actually see your face
- Keep it reasonably up to date and an accurate reflection of you
Your profile picture delivers a first impression of you on Linked In, and you only get one chance at that. Make the most of it.