What’s in a LinkedIn Photo?

What’s in a LinkedIn photo?

 18 Aug 2020

What’s in a photo? More than you can possibly imagine. The second someone sees a picture of you, they immediately make a judgement, whether that be consciously or unconsciously. We’ve heard a lot about unconscious bias recently and this is a case in point.

Other people’s perception of you is not something you have an awful lot of control over. Often it is what it is, based on a lifetime of that person’s own individual experiences and beliefs. However, you can create the best possible impression by maximising the suitability of your LinkedIn photo for your target audience.

Your LinkedIn photo is an integral part of your professional pitch. It matters. Remember this is a business networking site showcasing your career and your skillset, not your life outside of the office.


The right photo

So, what sort of photo is best for LinkedIn?

Ideally a head and shoulders shot. You don’t want to be a tiny dot in the background. People like to see your face.

A friendly smile is great. If you hate your smile, try at least to look approachable.

The photo should be of you only. Cut off images, where you are obviously one of a group or pair, are not ideal. This also isn’t the platform for a family photo or to introduce your beloved pet.

Casual head gear such as a baseball cap/ski goggles/sunhat/headphones etc. is not recommended, unless of course you would wear it in your daily professional life.

You don’t need to necessarily be “suited and booted” - you should however be business appropriate for your industry.

A good Litmus test – would you wear what you’re wearing in your LinkedIn photo to a client meeting? Yes? Big tick. No? Think again.

Remember the sorts of people who will be looking at your LinkedIn profile - prospective employers, prospective clients, people deciding whether or not to approach you for opportunities or do business with you.

In an uncertain economic climate, it is all the more important that that vital first impression hits the mark. You need to do all you can to stack the odds in your favour. Don’t let an unsuitable LinkedIn photo let you down, when it’s something you can so easily get right!


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