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.
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.