LinkedIn is the premier social network for professionals. From finding a new job to connecting with colleagues, LinkedIn is like a virtual storefront for professionals to interact with the business world around them. Boasting more than 590 million users by the end of 2018 and growing at a rate of 2 new users every second, it's clear that developing a high-quality profile for LinkedIn is essential.
According to LinkedIn, a profile with a photo is 14x more likely to be discovered, so this is not a feature that you can gloss over. Use these tips to figure out how to take the perfect LinkedIn profile photo so you can feel confident you are putting your best digital foot forward.
1) Your Face Should Take Up Around 60% of the Photo
The whole point of having a photo on your LinkedIn profile is so people can put a face to the name and see you as more than another resume in a stack. This won't work if your face only takes up a small portion of your profile photo. Focus the photo on your face and you're off to a great start.
2. Use a Neutral Background
Social media is a distracting place. If someone lands up on your profile, you don't want to add to the distractions and that includes the background of your photo. Solid, neutral backgrounds will emphasize what's most important about the photo - your beautiful face!
3. Dress Like You Would for Work
This one is tricky because there is no single right answer on what you should be wearing when you take your LinkedIn profile photo. The best rule to go by is to wear what you would wear to work (or what you would wear to work in a new position you are applying for). If you would in a corporate environment with a strict dress code, your LinkedIn photo should follow that dress code. However, if you are a salesperson that wears jeans and a polo, a suit and tie would not be appropriate. Your profile is a reflection of who you are as a professional, and this includes your wardrobe.
Smiling is contagious. I know it's a cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason. When someone visits your profile, you want them to trust you, feel welcome and hopefully leave with a smile. If you have a solemn expression, you will seem closed off and uninterested. However, if someone is greeted with a smile when they visit your profile, they will be much more likely to feel a connection to you.
5. Be the Only One in Your Photo
I'm sure you and your partner looked amazing on your wedding day, your niece is adorable and your pit bull Snuffy is your best friend, but LinkedIn is not the appropriate channel to share that information. LinkedIn is, first and foremost, a professional networking channel. Keep your photos professional and make sure you are the only one in your photo.
6. Use a High-Quality Photo
In 2019, there is no excuse for having a low-resolution profile photo. Every smartphone has a camera that is good enough to take a high-quality photo for LinkedIn. If you don't have a smartphone I bet you know someone who does. Have them take a shot of you in front of a neutral background and you're ready to go!
7. Make Sure the Photo is Current
I know there is the temptation to use a photo from when you just graduated college, but if you no longer look like your college self, your recruiter will be in for a shocking surprise when you land an in-person interview. Keeping an updated profile picture will help support an image of professionalism for your personal brand.
By following these simple rules, you will be able to capture a photo that will make your profile stand out from the rest. Good luck and happy networking!