What’s Your LinkedIn Profile Picture saying?

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Are you aware of what you’re projecting in your picture on your LinkedIn profile? Did you put up the same goofy avatar you put on Twitter? Hope not, because different social medias take different approaches. It is acceptable to put up a picture of you in a creepy Halloween costume on Facebook and Twitter, but it may not be a wise thing to do on LinkedIn.

Unlike Twitter that allows you to write basically anything you like under Bio section on your profile, LinkedIn and Facebook structure your profile based on first: occupation, second: education. While Facebook goes on in detail with these two categories, also with ways to contact you (similar to LinkedIn), it also offers much room for personal details , such as family members and relationship status.  These later details are irrelevant on LinkedIn because LinkedIn is meant to connect professionals around the globe.

Because of the space allotted for personal information and relatively high level of informality, it is not surprising that pictures FB and Twitter users put up on their profiles can be goofy, silly, scary, sexy, nonsensical, anything! You can even put up your dog’s picture. Unless your industry wants to project this ‘unprofessional’ image on purpose, stick to the basic, simple rule when it comes to putting up your profile picture on LinkedIn: look professional. Imagine that a company of your dream comes across your profile and… ! Well, everybody has every right to dream, right?

  1. Unless you are running a company profile on LinkedIn, show most of your own face on your profile. People tend to look at the eyes, because eyes can say a lot of things.
  2. Forget old-fashioned, unsmiling, photo-studio picture. This kind only projects rigidity and poor taste!
  3. We know not everyone is lucky enough to have good looks, but hey, who cares? Charm has little to do (if any) with the shape of your nose, the smoothness of your skin, or the thickness of your hair. Project confidence, content, happiness just enough. Who wants to hire someone who looks insecure, or, on the contrary: someone who looks arrogant?
  4. Embossed, sketched, color-inverted pictures wouldn’t help, would they? They don’t help you look better. Worse, they may attract a thought that you’re ashamed of how you look. Stop worrying about your less-than-perfect facial features. Don’t fret that it’s easier to look confident when you’re good looking either. Even when it’s true, at the end it’s your skills, expertise and attitude that people hire. And attitude is somewhat projected on your profile picture.
  5. You’ve been around yourself for so many years that you know your best angle. Play with it.
  6. Use a camera that generates good results and minimize retouching. Outdoor or indoor, it’s your call, but outdoor settings may project a warmer, ‘openness’ feel.

More and more employers nowadays check on candidates’ social medias to give them some kind of assessment on these candidates’ personalities. While a Facebook profile that depicts you in the middle of a party – projecting your active and engaging social life – may be desirable for some businesses, LinkedIn, on the other hand, is your mini CV. Surely you want the focus of attention is undividedly: YOU.

What is your current LinkedIn profile picture projecting? Is that the intended message? 🙂

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