Your LinkedIn photo may be the most important part of your profile, because it creates the first impression. Your photo can either draw a recruiter in or cause them to X out before the rest of your awesome profile has a chance to be seen. Don’t let that happen! Here are ten common mistakes to avoid.
- The No Show. You’re 11 times more likely to be noticed on LinkedIn if your profile includes a photo. The only people who can get by without photos are CEOs who don’t want to be recognized, and don’t want a job. Get that head shot up now. If you don’t like how you look, get a Photoshop facial. No shame in that. You probably have a friend who can help, or better yet, get a professional photo taken at Career Connectors. Chazz Pratt of USAA gives this advice for military veterans: “Invest in a nice photo…that showcases your very best image.” 1
- The Paaartaaay. That’s a fun selfie. Was it taken on New Years’ Eve? Or at your friend’s wedding? You look great. Post it on Facebook. Take it off LinkedIn STAT and put up something more professional. You don’t have to wear a suit, but choose something you’d wear to work. Says Shannon Grimes, Talent Attraction Manager for Charles Schwab, “avoid photos where you are dressed more casually than you would for the job you want.”2
- The Wedding Crasher. Closely related to the Paaartaaay, the Wedding Crasher is what you get when you use a photo of yourself in a strapless dress. The dress gets cropped out, leaving a shoulders-up image of you with professionally applied makeup and perfectly styled hair – and naked.
- The Oldie. You are a seasoned professional with great experience, but your photo was taken when you were an intern. Age discrimination stinks, but a photo taken during the Flashdance era does not help you one bit. Own your experience, and use it to bring you confidence. The lines and wrinkles? Either own those too, or see item #1.
- The Friends and Family. Your family is everything to you. Share everything with them but your LinkedIn photo. One person belongs in your photo. YOU. Not you and your partner, kids or friends. Even if it’s just your friend’s arm or ear and you’ve cropped out the rest. That looks weird.
- The Four Footed. You adore your furbabies, but unless you are a dog trainer or run an animal rescue, keep your fur or feathered friends on Facebook or Instagram. They’ll be happier there.
- The Itsy Bitsy. You really like that photo – and it’s very flattering. It’s so small, though, that it shows up as a tiny square with a ginormous border. You can do better.
- The Back Off! You’re Too Close. Your face fills the whole square. We can see your nose hairs. Don’t crop your photo that close, it’s not flattering. From shoulders up is the ideal range.
- The Tourist. It was a great trip to France, but by including the Eiffel Tower (or a fountain, or a castle) in the background of your shot, your image is so tiny we can’t see YOU.
- The Artsy-fartsy. Strange images, cartoons, unusual poses, moody expressions on faces gazing away from the camera. These range from silly to creepy to brilliant. You may be eager to showcase your creativity, but be careful – these efforts often backfire. People want to see YOU.
These ten LinkedIn mistakes can cost you a dream job. Make the most of your first impression!
About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.