No, you cannot use that Walden IG filter photo of you on a night out with your friends cropped out for LinkedIn. It just doesn’t work. LinkedIn is not Instagram and though people may act like it, it is not Facebook either. Yes, it is a social media platform – but it is a professional one. You will interact with friends and relatives, but also potential future employers and colleagues – for this reason there are some things you need to consider for that first impression profile pic.  Check out these top 5 tips:

  1. Head, shoulders – no knees and toes

Of course, you want to look nice and at your best, but it is not a picture designed to blow up the internet. In fact, I will go as far as to say that your LinkedIn profile pic should be a simple upgrade from a passport photo. Did I hear ‘no way!’? Well bear with me. You can smile and you don’t need a boring grey background, but a head and shoulders shot is all you need. Full body pictures can easily draw the focus away from your face – which is the aim. Even worse, it can easily be misinterpreted as trying to show off your body, or your clothes.

  1. Think Gran

On the subject of clothes. There are many faux pas. Tight shirts, low cut tops and your Glastonbury festival outfit are not meant to feature on LinkedIn. So, think gran – grandma or grandad – wear an outfit that will not draw comments of dismay from the elderly. Keep it nice and simple with a mono-coloured shirt or blouse that doesn’t raise questions or gran’s eyebrows.

  1. To teeth, or not to teeth

This one is entirely up to you. You know which pictures you look better in. A smile with teeth can come across as cheesy – so be careful not to smile too hard. But don’t sulk. Serious pouting just looks odd. Straight faced can easily come across frosty. You want to be inviting – it could land you a future job or other opportunity. It is not meant to land you a spot on ANTM. (American’s Next Top Model if you missed that – yes, I am in the U.K, but you which version is…)

  1. Effort

For some people, doing their hair can be an effort. But on this occasion you need to make that effort and lay your edges, brush your hair, and comb that part. Whatever your preferred hair style, make it look presentable as if you were going to interview already. Your hair needs to look good.

  1. Makeup

Everybody has their preference. What is too much for some, is just right for another. This tip isn’t designed to give you an ultimatum– you do want to give a good representation of yourself regardless. However, if it looks more club land than boardroom, then you might want to consider softer looks.

So here you have it, 5 tips to make your picture LinkedIn profile ready. So go ahead, strike a pose and work it! Just be sure to make your LinkedIn picture work appropriate.