Tips for Choosing Your LinkedIn Pic

My current LinkedIn pic
My current LinkedIn pic

As I was scrolling through LinkedIn today, I noticed the variety of profile pictures.  The array of pics is as broad as the array of professionals on the site.  People are more likely to view your profile when your include a picture.  Think of it like you would online dating.  Profiles without pictures tend to make you think the person isn’t really invested in making a connection or has something to hide.

So how do you know what pictures is right for your profile?  Here are a few tips

Avoid the muscle pic

This is actually what prompted me to write this post.  I noticed one of my connections update his profile picture to a picture of himself at the gym.  It made me wonder if he’d gone to work for a gym.  Nope, still has the same job just apparently wants you to know he’s been doing crossfit too.

Avoid cartoons or caricatures

This is just as bad as not having a picture of yourself.  What do you have to hide?  Why don’t you want people to see the real you?  LinkedIn is not the same as Facebook-leave the cartoons on site that are more personal than business.  The only exception to this rule would be if you are a professional cartoonist.

Take off the hat, sunglasses, etc

Linkedin is essentially your professional calling card.  Would you wear a hat and sunglasses into an interview? NO. So don’t wear them in your profile pic.

Look like your best self

Your pic doesn’t have to be professionally taken but it does have to be a good photo of you and one that has you looking at the camera.  Sometimes, natural smiles from snapshots are better.  They’re more authentic and show the real you.

My thoughtful writer pose-fun for other sites but not appropriate for my LinkedIn profile
My thoughtful writer pose-fun for other sites but not appropriate for my LinkedIn profile

Use a professional picture if you have a good one

Don’t run out and have a professional head shot taken but if you have one use it.  I recently had my portrait taken and I’ve used a few of them for various professional profiles.  Avoid photos that look too posed or don’t convey the message you’re looking for.

Look the part

I’m a writer and a career coach.  I don’t work in a traditional office but often work with traditional business people.  My profile picture reflects this.  I’m not in a suit (in fact I don’t even own one) but I look like my best writer self.

Be the only one in the pic

I get that you love your kids, pets, girlfriends, and families but your LinkedIn profile is about you.  Leave everyone else out of the pic.

A selfie with sunglasses is the ultimate in bad LinkedIn profile pics
A selfie with sunglasses is the ultimate in bad LinkedIn profile pics

Avoid the selfie

They’re everywhere and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t taken a few myself but don’t include them as your profile picture.  It’s not professional and often indicates that you’re texting and driving which is a bad combo.  BTW, this also means photos taken from your webcam are a no go.

Need help with your LinkedIn profile and/or presenting yourself professionally?  Contact us at coaching@merrfeld.com

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