Linkedin’s popularity as a professional networking site continues to grow each year. As it does, employers and employees alike have an increasingly robust platform at their fingertips for connecting with other professionals.
For us recruiters, it’s become an invaluable tool to gain a broader understanding and picture of who you are in the workplace.
But while we’re looking to gain a greater understanding of your skills and work history when perusing your profile, we’re also trying to find out whether you’ll present well in a professional environment.
We’re asking ourselves: is this someone that we would recommend our clients meet?
In our increasingly connected society, it’s crucial to have an online presence that professionally reflects you. And while the club photos and selfies might show off your most aesthetically pleasing angles, they aren’t your best professional representation. These kinds of images do nothing to build credibility for your professional persona and should be left to your Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Why? Because your LinkedIn photo is someone’s first impression of you. So having a professionally curated profile that you’ve accompanied with a photo of you holding a beer or cocktail (yes, I have witnessed this!) sends a conflicting message to us about who you are in the workplace.
In saying that, we don’t expect that you have a professionally taken headshot on your profile. It is, however, expected that your photo aligns with the professional persona you are trying to put forth. So, I’ve put together a few simple ways you can manage this yourself without having to pay for a photographer:
1. Have someone else take your photo for you.
An obvious one, yes, but I often come across LinkedIn profiles of people who have evidently taken their photo themselves. Get rid of the car selfies and have a relative/friend/co-worker take your photo for you.
Best practice for this would be to have the person take your photo from the shoulders up and have your face fill the frame of the shot.
2. Use a neutral background.
Make the background of your photo as neutral as possible. Busy backgrounds can distract away from the purpose of the photo – you. A plain wall in your house or office is a good place to start.
3. Wear appropriate clothing.
Think about what people wear in your industry, and put something similar on when taking your LinkedIn photo. If you’re working in a corporate environment where a button up top is required, wear one in your LinkedIn photo. While it’s nice to express your personality through your profile picture, sticking to a professional business look on this platform is best practice.
Remember: your profile photo is a prospective employer’s first impression of you. So take a little time to curate your profile for maximum impact because LinkedIn can be a powerful networking tool for you – if you let it!
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