Add Your Best Profile Pic | Make Your LinkedIn Profile Awesome

Get your LinkedIn profile pic right!

One of LinkedIn’s three strategic business pillars is that they want to own your online, searchable professional identity.

LinkedIn wants to be the professional profile of everyone’s record online. If members are going to be maintaining a professional record online then LinkedIn want to be the primary place where people create, update and access those records.

Nearly every industry uses LinkedIn to find and vet job candidates, and over 94% of recruiters rely on the site, according to data from the Society of Human Resource Management. So your profile can’t just be a storage unit for career contacts, it’s not a Rolodex — it needs to be a living, breathing record of your professional life. It is your living, breathing resume.

A robust LinkedIn profile opens the door for new opportunities like partnerships, new business, mentorships, or speaking events. It represents you as a professional — and refining it is easier than you think.

I am still amazed by how many career-minded professionals don’t have a LinkedIn profile or haven’t updated it in months or even years. As the work world continues to embrace the virtual world, your LinkedIn profile is you to those who don’t know you; it’s worth spending some effort to get it into shape.

LinkedIn has three main focal points for your LinkedIn Profile. The Big 3 are: profile pic, current position, and summary. These are highly visible and instantly identify you as a unique and interesting person, helping you attract the right opportunities.

First up, let’s start with your profile pic.

Your profile picture is your calling card on LinkedIn — it’s how people are introduced to you and (visual beings that we are) it governs their impressions from the start.

Think about it this way: You are at a networking event, a party and you walk up to meet someone or someone says hi to you…the first thing you see is their face.

In the middle of the sea of LinkedIn blue and white fields filled with text, your photo is the first impression for every potential contact, the main personality of everything in your LinkedIn identity.

That’s why profiles with a photo get up to 9x more connection requests, 21x more views and up to 36x more messages, according to a LinkedIn.

Profiles with a photo get up to 9x more connection requests, 21x more views and up to 36x more messages.

Here’s the tips for an awesome LinkedIn profile pic:

  1. Use a professional photographer for a high-quality, well-lit headshot. Invest in a professional portrait that you can use again and again.

  2. Take a pic that is appropriately professional. No selfies…unless you are really good at selfies. Not sure what “appropriately professional” means? Take a look around at what the people in your target company, industry sector, or business level are wearing. Match that.

  3. Make sure it fits your personality, looks like you like to look, and you are wearing something that people would expect you to wear at work.

  4. Keep the background solid.

  5. Make sure you upload a photo use a that’s at least 200 x 200 pixels. Don’t use a photo with dimensions smaller than 200 x 200 because it will become pixelated and blurry. BTW, that’s a square. LinkedIn lets you arrange the photo a bit, but if you have it square-cropped, it makes it easier to center in the bubble circle they give you. As a note, I upload as large as possible.

  6. Make sure your face takes up around 60% of the frame (long-distance shots don’t stand out), wear what you would like to wear to work, and smile with your eyes! Pro tip: Make sure you post your face. No company logos or other images — save that for your Company page. Profile Pages are for people — everyone wants to see you!

  7. Make sure the picture is recent and looks like you. Pro tip: “If you can show yourself in action, do it,” says a blogger who experimented with multiple LinkedIn photos to see which garnered the most attention. “A photo can go a long way to convey passion, energy, charisma, empathy, and other soft skills that are hard to write about.”

  8. Lastly, update your photo every 6 months at least — put a reminder in your phone or set it on your calendar. Keeps your visual identity current and stays pace with your seasonal appearance.

Your LinkedIn photo shouldn’t be from 20 years ago. It shouldn’t look like it belongs on a dating site, stock photo site, or social network (e.g., Facebook or Instagram). And don’t feature your pet or significant other. Just. No.

LinkedIn is for professionals. Be one.

My newest profile pic is one I got for FREE at a conference. It follows the rules above and is accessible and a bit casual while maintaining my professional personality.

And for a bonus round, most of us know about the profile photo but many others don’t have a strong background photo for their profile. Add that a background photo. It’s an instant way to differentiate your profile and brand it the way you want with a large, high impact canvas.

Your background photo grabs people’s attention, sets the context and shows a little more about what matters to you. More than anything, the right background photo helps your page stand out, engage attention and stay memorable. Give your profile page a bit more personality, or branding, with a visually appealing background image.

LinkedIn advises users to use an image (PNG, JPG, or GIF but not animated) with a resolution of 1400x425.

Get your photo(s) right and get it current now.

Your profile photo is the most critical part of your LinkedIn profile, the core to your professional identity and the best way for you to stand out from the rest.

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Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter at @tuckross