Six LinkedIn Photos to Avoid

We see them every day – the announcements in our news feed on LinkedIn saying that somebody “has a new profile photo” – and we’re all supposed to “Like” said new photo. Let’s get real though, as you scan through connections, and especially those suggested connections of “people you may know”, there are some pretty downright interesting profile photos! Today I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting my six least favorite LinkedIn photos.

The Wedding Photo

No, I’m not talking white dress & veil (although, I’ve see those too). I’m referring to the often fuzzy, usually dated-looking shot of a man in a tux (typically cropped extremely close on one side to remove the bride from the image). Not a good look.

The Glamour Shot

I admit, makeup is a WONDERFUL thing, but let’s keep in mind – LinkedIn is supposed to be a professional tool, not an advertisement for a boudoir photographer, Este Lauder, or Aqua Net. Keep that in mind when selecting wardrobe and makeup/ hairstyle as well as the amount of retouching & airbrushing used in post-production.

The High School Year Book Photo

There should be a field on LinkedIn where you have to insert the date an image was taken…once it hits, say, 10 years old, it should self-destruct. My advice: try to choose a photo that still looks like you. It will help you when you meet people in person if they know what to look for based on a realistic photo.

The Mug Shot

This isn’t your driver’s license or passport photo, people – SMILE! Let’s see some pearly whites! You don’t want to scare off your network or look like you have a tape measure on the wall behind you. Remember, this is often your first impression – make it a good, warm, welcoming one.

The Puppy Dog

Pets are cute. Babies are cute. Cartoons are cute. Would you include any of them on your resume though? Keep in mind that there are appropriate places to use more personal photos (Facebook, Google+, even Twitter). In my opinion, LinkedIn should be all about the professional impression you want to make on your current or future employer, and more importantly, on your professional network.

The No-Show

At least on Twitter you’re an egg. On LinkedIn you’re Jane or John Doe – ambiguous outline human figure afraid to show your face. I’m not sure which is more of a turn-off to me: someone with no photo, or someone with under 50 connections. It’s definitely a close call.

Well, folks – thanks for joining me on this ever-opinionated version of View From My Shoes. Now, excuse me – I’ve got to get back to my amazing photographer, Tina Anjozian regarding some additional touch-ups to my head shot.


The Face of Change

This past Labor Day I was one of those people who got swept up in the excitement of watching a woman accomplish a 35-year dream in the making by completing a 110-mile swim across the Atlantic Ocean. As if I wasn’t already inspired enough (the athlete in me is always a sucker for a great beating the odds story), as the exhausted 64-year-old stood on the beach in Key West and declared “This may look like a solitary sport, but it’s a team”, I instantly grew an amazing amount of respect for Diana Nyad.

While it pales in comparison to swimming from Cuba to Florida, I am nonetheless honored and humbled to have had the privilege of joining two amazing women, Shayna Chapman and Michelle Golden, for the September CPA Practice Advisor magazine cover story: The Changing Face of Accounting & Technology. As the story (originally designed to look at the sole idea of three prominent female industry professionals – a CPA, a Consultant, and a Technology vendor – all striving to better the profession – which is something that 10 or 15 years ago would have been hard to find) began taking shape, it was amazing to see what we learned about each other, and about the evolution of dynamics between practitioners, consultants, and software companies. In the end, it was the theme of collaboration among CPAs, consultants and technology players that was highlighted as we see the rapid change in the interactions between these three distinct types of players. By working together for the greater good (serving small, mid-sized, and large businesses), we’re better able to grow as an industry and move the notorious slow-to-change accounting world forward.

Since the issue launched I’ve been approached by some of the most respected individuals in our industry, and while I’m completely flattered, It’s only right to point out that this story, and this cover would never have happened if it weren’t for the change makers who have lead the way for the past 10, 15, even 20 years. Rick Richardson has been preaching change and embracing technology since I was in Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. Mark Koziel has been pushing the profession forward from within the AICPA in ways that very few of us will ever see. Doug Sleeter has devoted his career to serving the QuickBooks ProAdvisor community – and has recognized the need to embrace change within his own network too. And nobody more than Randy Johnston can be credited for leading accounting practitioners, consultants, and vendors forward and creating the driving force by which technology companies work for accountants instead of against them. So while we may be faces of change – we represent an entire team.

So while Shayna, Michelle and I soak up our 15 of minutes of fame, here’s to those who have been the face of change in our world for the past decade. Thanks for going before us and creating the path.  Thanks for giving us hope that a future generation will be blogging about the difference we made as the next generation of game changers grace the CPAPA cover 10 years from now. I wonder what shoes they’ll wear at their cover shoot?