What does your profile image look like on LinkedIn? Is it a profile image that you are proud of or is it a profile image that makes you proud?
A profile image you are proud of could be one where you are on the 18th hole of a favorite golf course. Or, maybe it is you hauling in a big bass. On the flip side, a profile image that makes you proud makes you look like a successful business person ready to give advice to your prospect as a trusted adviser.
Regardless of what you put on Facebook, your LinkedIn profile image should be a professional looking image. It is fine to put a profile image with your best friends at a game on Facebook. Facebook is for friends. LinkedIn is for work. Don’t confuse the two social sites! Your LinkedIn profile image is supposed to make you look like a mature adult that is ready to give your prospect sound advice. It is also supposed to give prospective employers the feeling that you are trustworthy and ready to help them achieve goals.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money to get a good profile image. Choose a neutral background, put on professional clothing (at least from the chest up), and have someone take a couple of shots from their smartphone. Take a couple head-on like a mugshot but also take a couple slightly so that your shoulders are not square with the camera. You may also want to take a couple shots where the camera is a few feet above your head and a few shots where the camera is looking up at you. Don’t forget to vary your smiles from a big toothy smile to a small grin.
Avoid using the photo that your company uses for the identity badge. Let’s face it, it looks like a photo that is used on an identity badge (or worse the image used on your driver’s license).
Watch the video below to get some other ideas and understanding on your LinkedIn profile image. Nick Miller of Clarity Advantage explains the importance of having a professional image on LinkedIn.
The image at the top of this article is my current LinkedIn profile image as I write this article. I don’t see a lot of value in changing it too often as Nick advises but I do change it every 6-12 months. As you can tell, Abercrombie is not going to hire me for their next marketing campaign, but that is okay. Surely, your profile image looks as good or better than mine so put it up there and look professional.