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Tips for an executive-level LinkedIn profile photo

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Today’s successful professionals and executives understand the power of networking and the value LinkedIn plays in developing a strong contact database. Your LinkedIn picture is your first impression and often the deciding factor if a person is going to connect with you – or not. Posting a warm, engaging photo on your LinkedIn profile that clearly displays your face is essential to developing instant rapport and building your professional network.

 

DO I NEED A (NEW) PICTURE?

  • If your LinkedIn head-shot is older than 2-3 years than most likely, YES! If you have a new hair style, now wear glasses or people don’t recognize you when you met, it is time for a new LinkedIn profile picture.
  • But does it really matter? YES! Your profile’s view rate increases over 11x by posting a photo, according to Craig Smith, author of ‘By the Number: 100 Amazing LinkedIn Stats’. The professionalism of this piece of media is critical to a strong personal marketing portfolio.
LinkedIn, executive branding, resume, LinkedIn optimization

An optimized LinkedIn profile is critical to a powerful executive brand.

 

PROFESSIONAL HEAD-SHOT, FRIEND-PHOTOGRAPHER OR SELFIE

When uploading your photo, remember to fill the frame with your face, so they can see you and ‘connect’ with you.

 

  • Get a professional head-shot if at all possible. The simple act of hiring a trained photographer can help you dramatically increase your LinkedIn presence, garner network connections and job opportunities.
  • For the DIY crowd. Select a professional setting and have and a friend or family member take 50-100 pictures, then pick a great one from the group.
  • Can I (should I) post a selfie?  Ideally you should post a professional picture, but if you need to opt for a ‘selfie’ make sure you know your best side/angles, use good light, filter the picture and take several shots.
  • When posting your picture; be sure to crop the image so it fits LinkedIn parameters, then fill the frame with your face.

 

HOW SHOULD I PREPARE

  • Get a good night sleep. Treat yourself like a professional model and go to bed at a decent hour the night before the shoot.
  • Pay attention to personal grooming. Clothing should be spotless and wrinkle free. Hair should be neat and styled. Women, wear your ‘everyday’ makeup. Men, facial hair should be precisely trimmed.

 

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR

  • Dress appropriately for your industry. Suit and tie is perfect for the financial sector; business casual is ideal for tech firms. Think carefully about your position and industry when selecting your wardrobe.
  • Try a few different outfits; consider bringing a few wardrobe changes as you might prefer how you look in one color vs. another. 

 

LINKEDIN PICTURE TIPS

SMILE in your picture! A smile develops instant rapport and says I’m friendly and approachable. Connect with me!

 

  • We take great pictures when we are in a great mood. If you have having a bad day, postpone the photo shoot and reschedule.
  • Make sure your background is not distracting. Current trends are all white, light blue or light/dark grey.
  • Communicate with your photographer. Give the photographer three keywords you want the picture to convey (EX: professional, approachable, kind). Then they can work with you to capture this type of image.
  • Smile! A smile develops instant rapport and says I’m warm, friendly and approachable. Connect with me.

 

LINKEDIN PICTURE TRAPS

  • Posting grainy, pixelated or blurry pictures
  • Posting a poorly lit picture
  • Posting a picture with another person or animal
  • Placing glamour shots, wedding pictures, or party pictures
  • Wearing sunglasses
  • Overdone artistic pictures that take away from your image
  • Full body pictures taken at a distance where we can’t see your face

 

As Donna Serdula states in her March 2013 webcast with Donna Lere, “It is no longer B2B or B2C it is now P2P, person-to-person… you are no longer dealing with companies and businesses, but people”.

Connect instantly with an engaging picture. It is worth the investment!