LinkedIn – every professional’s online resume, easily searchabled with the click of a
button. Prospective employers, companies and co-workers can look you up to get the ‘skinny’ on what you’re all about. What will they find? They say “first impressions last a lifetime,” and are incredbily hard to change. The information you include on LinkedIn and your profile picture starts the first impression process.
Upload a photo of yourself.
I used to frequent a website that called non-account users “anonymous coward” on all forum posts. I think about that sometimes when I visit someone’s LinkedIn page and there isn’t a photo. Did they not upload photo because they are lazy, because they didn’t care to, or are they hiding something? Are they unhappy with the way they look?
Even LinkedIn experts say that a profile with a photo is “14 times more likely to be viewed.” Bottom line: every professional needs a photo.
While not everyone can afford professional headshots, I have a few tips for creating the “right” photo, even if it’s a selfie:
- Stand in front of a solid background or solid-colored wall. (We don’t need to see your bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen.)
- Look straight into the camera. Don’t look up or down; if you have issues with this, get someone else to take the photo.
- Smile! Or at least, have a neutral facial expression.
- Stand up straight and be confident!
Until recently, my father’s LinkedIn profile picture was the classic example of what not to have – he’s standing in the dining room, with his head up, but looking down at the camera. His face is one of “trying to figure (this selfie thing) out.” The background includes the table, glassware, and pictures on the wall behind him. Not the best first impression for someone who’s been in HR for nearly 30 years. (It might have been his first selfie, but it wasn’t suitable for LinkedIn.)
- Have a friend or co-worker take your photo on a day you’re feeling confident.
- Don’t include other people in the photo. (Is this your profile or theirs?)
- Make sure your photo is of the proper size, as it’s harder to see you in those tiny photos.
Remember to put your best foot forward with a professionally tailored resume and LinkedIn profile. Resume services are available here: www.rachel-thomason.com
Happy Hump Day, professionals!