Does Your LinkedIn Profile Picture Represent Your Brand?

People form an immediate impression about you when they view your LinkedIn profile and the most visible element is your LinkedIn profile picture.  The worst thing you can do on LinkedIn is to not have a profile picture, and the second worst thing you can do is have a profile picture that leaves an unprofessional impression for people you want to connect with and influence.  Plus, LinkedIn research has shown that profiles with a picture are seven times more likely to be viewed. Since your profile picture represents your online brand and identity, it is critical to make sure your profile picture is the best it can be whether you are actively looking for a job or planning to look in the future.

So, what can you do to make sure your profile pictures represents your personal brand?  

Check out these tips and examples of professional and not-so-professional profile pictures.  We also recommend that show your picture to several others and incorporate their feedback before uploading it to LinkedIn.    The simplest advice is to look at your photo and ask yourself, would you hire this person?

Professional LinkedIn Profile Picture Checklist

  • Take a front-facing head shot photo from shoulders up
  • Smile with confidence and energy
  • Make sure Well lit from the front
  • Use a background that does not distract
  • Dress to impress in a style that is standard for your industry
  • Square pictures are best – the LinkedIn guidelines suggest a photo ranging from 200×200 pixels up to 4000×4000 pixels

Examples of Professional LinkedIn Profile Pictures

 Professional LI Pictures

 Avoid These Common LinkedIn Profile Mistakes

  1. Don’t use party pictures or wear sunglasses
  2. Don’t use a cartoon or avatar for your picture
  3. Don’t include other people, family members or pets in your photo
  4. Don’t use obvious selfies or screenshots from your computer
  5. Don’t use badly lit pictures
  6. Don’t use a full length picture or body shot

 Examples of Unprofessional LinkedIn Profile Pictures

Unprofessional LI Pictures

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You should also check out these other recent AppleOne blog posts with LinkedIn advice:

 This blog post originally appeared on the AppleOne Career Seeker Blog.

Manage Your Career Like It Is a Start-up

The Start-up Of You

If you are looking for an innovative way to look at your career, you should check out the “The Start-Up of You” by LinkedIn co-founder and chairman, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.  While the book is almost two years old, the career tips and insights are relevant for anyone interested in managing their career.

The premise of the book is that everyone needs manage their career as if it is a start-up business:I

“The key is to manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you. Why? Start-ups – and the entrepreneurs who run them – are nimble. They invest in themselves. They build their professional networks. They take intelligent risks. They make uncertainty and volatility work to their advantage. These are the very same skills professionals need to get ahead today.”

If you don’t have time to read the book, you can read the executive summary in the Slideshare presentation below and still receive most of the insights to apply to your career.  This entertaining presentation is 190 pages long, but each page has a single useful snippet of advice or information so it is a quick read.

The chapters in the book cover these topics:

  1. All humans are entrepreneurs
  2. Develop a competitive advantage
  3. Plan to adapt
  4. It takes a network
  5. Pursue breakout opportunities
  6. Take intellectual risks
  7. Who you know is what you know

You can find additional resources at the Start-Up of You website.

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This post originally appeared on the AppleOne Career Seekers blog.