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.


Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter at @tuckross

Six Things to Set to ‘Monthly Recurring’ on Your LinkedIn Profile

Most professionals are on LinkedIn everyday (not just guessing, I asked around).

Whether you are working on your personal brand, consuming content, or developing your career path, LinkedIn is a powerful tool when you have a strategy for when and how to use it.

Like any relationship, LinkedIn is maximized when you are interacting on a daily or weekly basis. As you build out your path in LinkedIn, there is also the need to take a few actions to keep your profile current and protect your investment. Monthly at least, but remember, if you are working on LinkedIn daily, you are potentially being seen daily so keeping your profile current and fresh is critical. Also, things could change at any time, so making sure you have backups and redundancy is helpful in case the need arises.

Here’s six things I do on a regular basis to make the most of my effort on LinkedIn:

  1. Check all the links in your Profile. This one can make you look out of date in a second. Go into your profile and review each of your position listings and any related web or media links for Skills, Awards, or other links you have attached to each position. Related to previous roles, I’ve had videos and websites be removed or links changed without notice. These are unclickable and appear as blank boxes which detract from the strength of your presence. Remove or replace asap. Add new links as you have them available. Frequency: Weekly

  2. Export your Connections list. Contact management is an ongoing effort of maintenance and care If you have been adding connections regularly while adding in contacts from phone and other social networks, you ideally have your whole network in one place. This is where the strength of LinkedIn comes in because you can connect all your professional relationships and the more you add, the more connections LinkedIn can discover and recommend for you. Accordingly, you need to protect it. It’s good to make an export copy to act as a backup or if you want to move them to your other address books from LinkedIn. Here’s how: Click on My Network from the homepage, then click on Your Connections in the left column. On top of the right side of the page you’ll see Manage synced and imported contacts. Click that, then choose Advanced Actions on the right side toward the bottom of the page. When you click Export contacts, you’ll download a CSV file in your email. Frequency: Monthly

  3. Make a copy of your Profile. This will give you access to the latest version of your profile. Since you update different elements of your profile as your career changes and grows, it’s likely that you don’t have a backup copy of the latest version of all the elements of your profile anywhere except in LinkedIn. From the home page, click on your profile in the left hand column. Then, to the right of your photo, click on the three dots and choose Save to PDF. Frequency: Monthly or as you make changes.

  4. Review Endorsements. As a good citizen of LinkedIn, you should regularly be sharing the endorsements for the connections you know well and believe in. Your Endorsements (showing as Skills), help convey what your personal brand is all about. Ideally, you have a focused set of Skills to demonstrate and communicate your strengths in a focused field. Like a major brand, you are better known for something, than trying to be everything. This is your opportunity to be laser focused on who you are, what sets you apart, and what makes you compelling to your target audience. Only 3 of your Skills appear in your Featured Skills set on your Profile and those are the ones that show off who you are. Take a Post-It and write down a list of your Top 10 without looking at your profile. Then go back into your profile and look at the Endorsements you have received: How close are the two separate lists? It may feel odd, but you can even delete endorsements for skills that aren’t part of your brand. Next, reorder your Skills (yes, you can put them in any order you want) to emphasize the ones that are important to your career goals if you don’t like the default order. Frequency: Monthly.

  5. Clear your Inbox: Between networking, friend emails, spam, and InMail, you may get a good volume of messages in here weekly. With everything else going on, I’ve realized that I need a dedicated window to clear my LinkedIn inbox: respond, delete, archive, and initiate some new conversations. Getting to or close to inbox zero on a weekly basis helps make sure you are being responsive and timely with your communications, which again, is critical in this professional environment. As a tip, I found that Mobile is the best place to quickly cull emails into Archive (swipe left and Archive), instead of deleting, to shorten your list of follow-ups that may need a keyboard to fully compose. Frequency: Weekly.

  6. Review your notifications: Related to #5, I hit my Notifications daily to touch back on news, who’s viewing my profile, networking, responding to comments, etc. What I found is that when I’m on the go during the week, I miss some of the specifics, especially if there’s a post with multiple comments or if I want to drill down into profiles and connections. Best time to do this? Grab a drink and sit down on the weekend to browse through on Desktop LinkedIn to make sure you are fully covering the bases on the depth of what your Notifications are giving to you. Frequency: Weekly.

Whether you carve out 15–30 minutes a day or tackle the bucket on a regular interval, assign yourself a calendar or to-do list reminder to help develop the habit of performing these tasks on a regular frequency. Committing to your professional profile above any other social network only will benefit your personal brand and career in the long term and earn you that ‘All-Star’ profile status on LinkedIn.


Love this content? Follow me here and on Twitter and LinkedIn at @tuckross

LinkedIn Shows You The Money

Like money? Good news - LinkedIn will now be able to tell you how much dough you can gain from that new role you've been scoping on the Jobs tab.

LinkedIn's Salary Insights are coming in the next couple of weeks (March?), adding estimated or expected salary ranges to open roles. The salary numbers themselves will be sourced either from the employer listing the role or estimated ranges from data submitted by members.

Salary Insights marks the big expansion of what was LinkedIn Salary, which the professional network launched in November 2016 to provide information on salaries, bonuses and equity data for specific job titles, as well as factors that impact those salaries, including experience, industry, company size, location and education level.

Just like your credit card, LinkedIn will also start asking you to update your salary for your current role on regular basis, to help fund the salary data pool (not publicly shared).

Senior product manager Keren Baruch said in a blog post introducing the new feature, “We know salary insights on job listings is important to you. In fact, a recent survey found that more than 70 percent of professionals want to hear about salary in the first message from a recruiter. By surfacing this information early on in the process, we hope to make the application process more seamless by allowing you to know if a job meets your salary criteria before entering into a conversation with the hiring manager.”

Couple of benefits from this change that I can see:

  1. To the point above, this could improve the job application process because it's a first-ask priority for job seekers - and now they can filter to find their preferred options ahead of time.

  2. Plus, this could reduce applications coming into recruiters, if the salary doesn't meet expectations for the job listing. But, I could see this going both ways: larger salaries drawing unqualified applicants who think they fit the bill because they like the cash.

One thing I know for sure, it's amazing how long this took to come out. The Ladders has had this information for a while now. But with LinkedIn's data coming in, even at the Free profile level, makes a few less reasons to be on The Ladders, and keeping people focused on LinkedIn for listing roles and seeking jobs.

What do you think? Recruiters and those sourcing talent - do you think this is helpful to your process? Job seekers - will this help you narrow down your search to the roles that better fit your salary requirements?


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Image credit: Tech Crunch