The Perfect LinkedIn Profile Picture in 10 Simple Steps
One of the essential secrets to an effective LinkedIn profile is your LinkedIn profile picture.
As far as I’m concerned, an effective LinkedIn profile is one that gets the attention of recruiters, hiring managers or potential customers and clients, basically the people that you want to reach.
To maximise all that LinkedIn has to offer, you need to set up your LinkedIn profile in a way that helps you engage with the right people and form positive professional connections.
After all, LinkedIn is a professional network, there is a reason that millions of people use it and you need to keep those reasons in mind when choosing the right LinkedIn profile picture.
If you're not convinced that LinkedIn can help you unlock your career or your business, check out the stats below, they are pretty compelling.
With 4 people getting hired through LinkedIn every minute, it's worth investing in creating a great LinkedIn profile!
I’m going to walk you through 10 simple steps that will result in you choosing a great LinkedIn profile picture, and hopefully getting many more profile views.
I promise you, a great LinkedIn profile picture really does make a difference if you want recruiters, hiring managers and potential clients to engage with you on LinkedIn.
Does your LinkedIn profile picture really make a difference?
In a word, absolutely!
The LinkedIn corporation states that your LinkedIn profile is 14X more likely to be viewed if you have a profile picture as opposed to leaving it blank.
Your LinkedIn profile picture is your first connection point with someone. Before they even meet you, your picture will give them an idea of what you are like as a person, your personality and your disposition.
As humans, we instinctively draw conclusions based on a person’s appearance, body language and facial expression.
Some researchers even estimate that 60 – 70% of what we communicate is nonverbal. If this is true, your LinkedIn profile picture reveals a lot about you.
Before anyone even reads your headline, about section, or for that matter, even clicks on your profile, they will already have looked at your picture and subconsciously drawn conclusions.
Ask yourself, what does my profile picture say about me? Does it portray me as approachable, open to connections, professional, confident, friendly, someone who you would want as a colleague, or does it send the opposite message?
We know LinkedIn profile pictures
We spent many years recruiting in Dubai and now spend our days helping career changers and professionals from all over the world set up and optimise their LinkedIn profiles for success.
Needless to say, we have looked at tens of thousands of LinkedIn profile pictures.
As recruiters, we developed a sense of what kinds of profile pictures connected and which had the opposite effect.
As job search coaches and LinkedIn specialists we have refined the art of helping even the most camera-shy find and upload a great LinkedIn profile picture.
10 steps to a perfect LinkedIn profile picture
With 810M members, standing out on LinkedIn is not easy, the following 10 steps will help you on your way to creating a superstar profile!
1. Avoid a bad LinkedIn profile picture
This may sound obvious, but one of the reasons that so many people don't have a great LinkedIn profile picture is because they can't see what's wrong with the one they have.
Here are some of the common examples that you should avoid.
• The selfie LinkedIn profile picture
This type of photo might be acceptable on Instagram but it has no place on LinkedIn.
Remember your audience, you are connecting and engaging with other professionals who are developing their personal brands as market leaders in their industry.
• The passport photo LinkedIn profile picture
Too many people take a picture of their passport or other form of ID photo and upload it to LinkedIn. Don’t do this!
ID photos are generic and are designed not to stand out. You’re not allowed to smile in your ID photo, and they are not a good reflection of you as a person.
What’s more, it gives the impression that you have made little effort on your LinkedIn profile and have very little imagination and personality.
• Group photo LinkedIn profile picture
Don’t add a group photo or crop yourself out of a group photo.
This never looks good. The sole subject of your profile picture should be you, it’s all about you!
• Unprofessional LinkedIn profile picture
A picture taken on a night out, or at a social event, can again seem out of place on LinkedIn. You should be especially cautious of using a photo with a drink in your hand. The only exception would be if you work in the entertainment industry. However, always err on the side of caution as you don’t know who is checking out your profile and you want to make sure you’re sending the right message.
• The distant LinkedIn profile picture
You should not be so far away in the photo that you can barely be seen.
The idea of your LinkedIn profile picture is to engage with people so they need to clearly see your face.
2. Make your LinkedIn profile picture all about you
Not only should you avoid the group photo, as mentioned above, you should also make sure that you are clearly the subject of the photo.
How would you want to come across when walking into an interview or business meeting? You would want to engage and make an instant connection.
Your LinkedIn profile picture gives you the opportunity to do this on a large scale. A photo where you are so far away that we can’t see your face is a missed opportunity. It sends the impression that you are elusive and unapproachable.
Generally speaking, you should aim for your face to take up around 60% of the frame. Try cropping your picture from just below your shoulders leaving some space right above your head.
Your picture should also look like you, and not the you from 15 years ago.
Whilst we may like to think that we look the same as we did 10 years ago, we don’t, and people will notice the difference when they meet you in person.
Consider updating your LinkedIn profile picture from time to time, for example, if you get a new hairstyle, upload a new picture, keep things up to date and fresh.