3 Simple Tips for an Effective LinkedIn Profile Photo
Choosing the right LinkedIn photo can mean the difference between conveying likeability and credibility or communicating unprofessionalism and inauthenticity. Your photo can make it easier for others to engage with you or it can turn other members away. Using the wrong LinkedIn photo can make it more difficult to build rapport and trust which can ultimately hinder your job search and overall career advancement. Here are a few best practices for an effective LinkedIn profile photo.
Make it a Headshot
Your face should take up at least 60% of the frame (if needed you can crop the image at your shoulders). You want the focus to be on your face because your profile is about you! Skip the scenic vacation shot or the image of your family pet. You don’t want a complicated background to distract viewers, and you certainly don’t want a completely irrelevant shot to cause confusion. Select a photo where your eyes make direct contact with the camera and you’ve got a friendly expression.
Choose Appropriate Clothing
Your apparel can communicate a lot about your current job and your aspirations. If you’re looking for a new job, dress for the job you want, not the one you have (you’ve probably heard this advice for interviews). Also, keep in mind that solid colors typically look better than complicated patterns in professional headshots; again, you don’t want to distract viewers. Ultimately, ask yourself, “Does this outfit match my career goals?”
Strive to Appear Approachable
In terms of facial expression in your profile photo, you want to look approachable. After all, part of the goal of your LinkedIn profile is to convey likeability. Even a slightly awkward smile is more inviting than a cold stare. Select a photo that’s friendly and as authentic as possible.
Research indicates that simply having a LinkedIn photo will increase your likelihood of being viewed by others more than 10-fold. That doesn’t even take into account the value of selecting a truly strategic profile photo. Choosing the right photo can add another layer to your personal brand and help support your career goals—choose wisely!