LinkedIn is a professional network, meaning that in most cases it will require a different type of profile picture than other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. A LinkedIn profile picture should be professional, but how do you determine what makes a good LinkedIn photo?
When you are looking for a new job or when you want reinforce current relationships, the other party may turn to your public LinkedIn profile for confirmation of who you are. It is needless to say that your profile is up to date, and so should be your photograph. Your profile picture will make the first – and therefore very important – impression. We will not debate taste, but here are some rules that help define what makes a good professional portrait.
7 tips for a better professional LinkedIn profile pictures:
1. RECOGNISABLE – Avoid that awkward situation in which your online contact fails to recognise you when you finally in person. Make sure to use a recent photo in which your physical features resemble the way look at this moment. Did you have longer hair than you do now, or did you loose your glasses? In these cases it is advisable to have your photo updated.
2. ONLY YOU – The person in the image should unmistakably be you. Avoid having a photo of you and a friend, your partner, your children or pets. Another big no-no is chopping somebody off the picture. This will distract from what people want to see: you.
3. EYES – Looking directly into the camera typically displays an air of confidence. Looking away, wearing sunglasses or a hat that makes your eyes invisible or hard to see does not work in your advantage.
4. SMILE – Several surveys have shown that a natural smile with teeth or with a friendly smile is more inviting than a stern look. Smiling forces the muscles around your mouth and eyes to contract, resulting in a ‘sharper’ glance.
5. HEAD & SHOULDERS – LinkedIn uses 200 x 200 pixel photos. That tiny! This is why is it important that your face and possibly part of your shoulders are visible. The rest of you body will most likely distract from what really matters: your face
6. DRESS UP – A tree piece suit, a necktie, a casual shirt, t-shirt or in blue overalls. Wear what you want, as long as it fits your current job or the job you are aiming for.
7. QUALITY MATTERS – Even though LinkedIn uses tiny images, image quality is important. Quality does not necessarily mean pricy, but avoid using a poorly lit smartphone snapshot at all times.
Tips are provided by corporate portrait photographer in the Netherlands - photographer Tetsuro