It’s a generally accepted principle that we love to watch people fail. In fact, we love it so much that we’ll be late for work by slowing down to look at an accident. Personally, I’m fascinated by the number of inappropriate LinkedIn photos I see on a regular basis. From inappropriate bar-star escapades to distorted and blurry images, I’m here to help save your LinkedIn photo from being the source of afternoon chuckles around the water cooler. If you don’t already know, LinkedIn is the preferred business social network with well over 200 million members to date according to Forbes magazine. Check out my previous article on awesome LinkedIn facts for more interesting LinkedIn statistics.
Here are five ways you turn people off with your LinkedIn photo (and some quick fixes too):
Mistake #1 – Not Adding a LinkedIn Photo
If you’re not going to add a photo to your LinkedIn profile you shouldn’t have a profile at all. I hate seeing the generic male or female outline. I hate it even more if I can see your smiling picture on your website because then you can’t even blame privacy issues. Fix this mistake by getting some professional pictures taken. You can even go to Walmart if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. People are better with faces than they are names so adding a picture will make you more memorable as well.
Mistake #2 – Using Your Favorite Instagram Picture as Your LinkedIn Photo
Remember that great picture you took in the bar with your BFF? Don’t use it as your LinkedIn photo unless you’re in the nightclub industry. LinkedIn also says you should drop the swimsuit photos and wedding shots. First impressions count and your LinkedIn photo will be seen by potential clients and human resource managers who might be interested in hiring you.
Mistake #3 – Using a Black and White Image
Don’t use a black and white image for your LinkedIn photo. Colored images are preferred as that’s what you’ll look like in person.
Mistake #4 – Using a Different Photo on Your LinkedIn Profile than Your Other Social Media Accounts
Companies use the same logo (or a very similar logo) on all of their branding documents. You should do likewise with your social media accounts. Don’t use different photos for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It will be easier for people to remember you as well. Personally, I add a lot of people on LinkedIn after chatting with them on Twitter. It’s easier to find contacts if they use the same image as well.
Mistake #5 – Choosing a Busy and Complicated Picture
Keep it simple when choosing your LinkedIn Photo. Don’t use an image with a complicated background no matter how pretty it looks. A simple head shot is best. Make sure you’re wearing professional attire as well.
The biggest takeaway from this article is that your LinkedIn photo should be simple and professional. Save the beautiful sunsets and wedding photos for Facebook. Your photo should be engaging and inviting as your photo is the first thing people see when visiting your LinkedIn profile.
Do you have any tips to add? Please feel free to share them in the comments below. Also, if you’d like help optimizing your LinkedIn profile, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org any time. I look forward to hearing from you.