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LinkedIn Profile Pictures: To do and not to do

I look at a lot of LinkedIn profiles as I catch up on news, look at possible connections, and read LinkedIn posts. The picture you use is the first impression you have as someone looks at your profile and the ongoing impression you have with your connections. It is important to have a picture that matches you and the image you want to convey.

Why? Like it or not, LinkedIn is where people go to learn about you. Whether it’s for a job opportunity, for your business, or you are part of a new team, others are going to look you up on LinkedIn to learn about you. People want to connect with people and a picture helps with that connection.

Here are some tips:

  1. Do not have the white outline head as your picture. You have a picture somewhere that may not be great but it’s better than the white outline head. The white outline head says to me that you aren’t serious about your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Keep the pictures professional: “Professional” does not mean business attire. It means making it a picture of you. Not you and your dogs, kids, ferrets, etc. Save those pictures for Facebook.
  3. Head Shot: To make sure people can see you, use an image that is primarily focused on your face. Not a full body picture – the thumbnails used by LinkedIn are so small no one will see your face.
  4. “Professional” should fit you: Profile pictures range from men in a suit and tie, to a badge picture, to a good image that has been colorized or black and white. Take some creative liberties and have a picture that represents your personality.
  5. Include ‘props’ in your picture if you want: Go ahead and take a picture of you next to a rack of computers – if that is you and what you want people to know about you. Do you want people to know the company you work for – take a picture in front of the company logo. One of my connections has a picture of them with a fish – that is a conversation starter.

Out of all this, two things to remember: Have a good picture of you and let a little personality show through.

About the author: Kim McMahon has done sales and marketing for more years than she cares to count. She writes frequently on marketing, life, the world and how they sometimes all come together.