A Good Profile Photo Makes a Winning LinkedIn Profile
A strong LinkedIn profile picture includes pleasant smile, professional attire, pleasing background, interesting angle, and some indication of your personality. The way you look shouldn’t have anything to do with your eligibility for a job, but it often does.
Hiring managers want to know who you are. They want to see whether you have leadership qualities and whether you’re friendly and professional. They want to imagine what working with you may be like. All these attributes can be communicated to your advantage with a good profile photo.
Generally speaking, not having a profile photo on LinkedIn can cause you more damage than having a bad one. Many recruiters say that a blank profile photo lands many qualified candidates into the maybe pile. A faceless candidate communicates an incomplete profile, which is perceived as low motivation and a lackluster enthusiasm for finding work.
A strong LinkedIn profile picture includes the following key elements:
A pleasant smile: A good photo is warm and welcoming. Show those pearly-whites.
Professional attire: Not every job requires that you wear a suit and tie, but you should dress appropriately. Think about the job you’re going for and dress for your first day.
A pleasing background: Each color and background texture alters the emotional quality of the image. Some people choose green or blue backgrounds, which convey trust and stability.
An interesting angle: Your profile picture isn’t a mug shot, so don’t look head on at the camera. Instead, try tilting your head slightly or look at the camera over a shoulder. You want to avoid symmetry around your head.
A sign of your personality: Although you don’t need a gimmick or prop in your photo, think about what you can do to show who you are and make your image memorable.
Don’t crop your face out of your vacation photos. Take your profile picture seriously and find an hour or two to do it right. If you don’t have a good camera, see whether your local department store has a family studio where you can get some good, professional shots.
If you’re concerned that adding a picture of yourself to your LinkedIn profile may put you at a disadvantage due to ageism, racism, or sexism, consider this: If a hiring manager makes a negative determination about your employability based on a half-inch sized profile photo, then his company isn’t the place for you. Clearly a culture of oppression is in that organization.
This type of organization can make it twice as hard for you to succeed, so let it go. The right place will come along.