Learning LinkedIn: Picture This

Time for a long overdue addition to my Learning LinkedIn series!

LinkedIn is a great free networking tool for people of all ages. But tools only work when you use them properly. One vital, yet often overlooked, feature of LinkedIn is the profile picture. Why is this so important? And how do you decide which picture to use?

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Profile pictures are an easy way for your connections to recognize you, which is one reason it’s important to have one. But beyond that, if you are in the market for a new job, recruiters will be looking at your page and your picture can sway them one way or another. Seeing a photo of someone who is professional and approachable may cause a recruiter to be more likely to call you back.

Here are my tips for a strong LinkedIn profile picture:

1. Choose a professional-looking photo. This means no pictures of you from social events or wearing a crazy outfit/makeup/hairstyle.

2. Quality is key. Whether you use a professional photographer for your picture is totally up to you. I think you should consider what stage you are in career-wise and whether it would be a worthwhile investment if you are seriously looking for a career change. Regardless, you want to make sure you upload a clear (not grainy or pixelated) photo, so choose a high-quality format.

3. Keep it current. Make sure to use a recent photo! The last thing you would want is for a potential employer or connection to not recognize you..

4. Close up. The profile picture icon is very small on LinkedIn. As such, a headshot fits best for your profile. If you choose a longer shot, it will be difficult for others to make out your face.

5. Choose a neutral background. You want your photo to be the focal point, so choose one with a plain and non-distracting background. One tip: you often have to get a photo taken for an office job, so consider using that.

As I said, a photo might seem like a minor detail, but it can really have an impact on how others view your profile, so be sure to upload one if you haven’t already!

Do you have any LinkedIn profile picture tips to share? Where is your photo from?

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