Your profile picture holds a prominent place on your LinkedIn profile, and while you may not think much of having your face up there, research by LinkedIn shows that profiles that include a picture are 14 times more likely to be seen. Without one, you may be perceived as not understanding how to use LinkedIn, or your profile may even be viewed as 'fake'.
In other words, if you want to be attracting people to your profile, whether that's recruiters or other valuable contacts, it's important that you include a photo. This doesn't mean that any picture will do, though. Here are some top DOs and DON'Ts to consider.
1. Pick a recent photo
Like everything else on your profile it's important that your picture is up to date so choose a photo that has recently been taken. After all, you'll want to ensure that you are immediately recognisable when you meet any of your contacts in person to avoid potentially awkward situations.
2. Consider the quality
Grainy, dark or awkwardly cropped photos will not impress anyone, and what is the point of even adding a picture if you're hardly distinguishable in it? The same counts for photos that are taken from afar – yes, sadly this includes that amazing picture of you standing on a hill top from your last holiday. Instead, choose a photo in which your face takes up at least 60% of the frame. Use a good camera and pick a neutral background to keep distractions to a minimum.
3. Dress appropriately
In many ways your profile picture will provide the very first impression of you, and considering the nature of LinkedIn as a professional networking platform you'll want to make sure you look the part. This doesn't strictly mean you need to be wearing traditional business attire but if you're in doubt consider what you would wear to an interview or networking event and go with that.
1. Go for a selfie…
A recent survey by CV-Library showed that 61.2% of recruiters believe selfies aren't acceptable for use on professional websites such as LinkedIn. The reason? Selfies are mostly seen as 'unprofessional'; something better reserved for perhaps your Facebook or Instagram account. Moreover, the quality of a selfie may not be optimal – whether that's due to the camera, angle or lighting. There's nothing wrong with taking a picture with your phone – if you have a good enough camera! – but ask a friend or family member to take the snap for you.
2. …or a group photo
Visitors to your LinkedIn want to know more about you – but how can they even be sure who you are exactly if your profile picture includes more than one person? Stick to a photo of just you and don't try to crop a group photo either – it's usually fairly obvious that you've cut other people out of the photo and the quality of it may suffer.
3. Try to be clever
While your proficiency in creating memes or taking scenic snaps may give people an insight into your personality and hobbies, it's not advisable that you use either as your profile picture. Save the former for your friends on Facebook, while the latter might well make a good banner picture.
First impressions are everything, and before even reading your headline your visitors on LinkedIn will have formed an idea of you based on your profile picture. Don't leave it up to chance and ensure you make that initial impression count.
Want to find out more about LinkedIn profiling?
Dos and Don'ts of LinkedIn first published in My Careerlab Ri5; Business Insider, 13 Sep 2018