There are many times users struggle to understand what type of picture to use on LinkedIn. Facebook is the social forum where you can update photos from your study trips, share your snapchat memories from the previous night at KCLSU Waterfront Bar or your Instagram filtered photos from strolling around the beach on holiday. We strongly advise you NOT to use a similar approach on LinkedIn.
It can be difficult navigating the social media jungle. In many cases, the different social media channels all seem like they are the same – in reality they’re different, albeit in a good way. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform. This is the place you will meet potential business partners, perhaps your future leader or manager, and colleagues who can refer your skills to their network. This is all for free! Being mindful of the highly competitive nature of the platform, having a presentable profile should be very high on your list, and that goes for your photo too. Check out King’s Careers & Employability’s 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 America’s Next Top Model.
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.
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.