Posted: 19th July 2016
Posted by Judith Poulteney
LinkedIn aims to be different from other social media. Describing itself as “the world’s largest professional network”, its mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”. For those of using LinkedIn, the key word in both the description and the mission statement is “professional” – and this is what you should aim for in your photo.
There are three types of photograph that could work well for you on LinkedIn:
The full face shot – where you look directly at the camera and smile – is the easiest and the safest. Done properly, it is very effective. You will come across as a reliable, straightforward and consistent business person. Options include cropping in close or including whole head and shoulders. (If you include shoulders, then wear business attire rather than your favourite strappy sun top or top-of-the-range ski jacket …)
I have gone for the full face shot because I tend to be cautious on social media (yeah, I know, I need to get out more…) and I feel it suits my social media ‘personality’. Here I am and here are two other WiRE members who, I feel, have used the full face shot successfully: Emily Whitehead and Kate Young:
Me Emily Whitehead Kate Young
Ruth Downing Sarah Lewis
The pic of you with your product or service – it is great to be photographed with your product or providing your service as the photo then illustrates your business. Two WiRE members who do this to great effect are Ruth Downing (who, incidentally, takes LinkedIn profile photos for people) and Sarah Lewis:
Helen Culshaw Philippa Davies
For the quirky pic you need confidence, courage and creativity … Get it right and it works brilliantly. Get it wrong and you leave your audience puzzled and confused. (But why not try it anyway? You can always take it down.) Here are two – again WiRE members – who have pulled it off perfectly:
Whatever you decide to do, try to avoid these five common mistakes:
You get the picture.
Judith Poulteney MA FCIPD is a specialist careers consultant and interview coach who produces interview-winning CVs, covering letters and LinkedIn profiles. She would like to thank the WiRE members who let her use their LinkedIn profile pictures for this blog. http://www.judithpoulteney.co.uk 01785 284849, 07837 917803