Last Thursday the LinkedIn Masterclass took place. Afterwards a professional photographer took profile pictures of the participants. We were touched to see the long line of ambitious students. Everyone wanted to have a professional profile picture taken. The photographer couldn’t get a rest. This blog is for everyone that didn’t have their picture taken. You can do it yourself! Just consider the following tips.
In a LinkedIn profile-picture you normally look into the camera. Sell yourself with your sweetest smile. A good LinkedIn photo should make you look approachable. Looking friendly is just as important as appearing formal and professional.
Your style of clothing should be tidy and fitting to your persona at the same time. Don’t wear a suit if you don’t wear suits in real life. Choose plain clothes over clothes with a lot going on, like excessive prints. And for the women, don’t wear strapless tops or t-shirts. It could give the impression you’re not wearing much.
Make sure you are easilty recognized. You risk missing out on interesting contacts when your picture doesn’t look much like you do in real life. Adding someone as your LinkedIn contact after a network conversation is smart, but make sure you can be recognized immediately. Don’t use an old picture, or a picture that was taken when you decided to wear your hair differently than you usually do.
A profile picture shows your head, neck and a little bit of shoulder. There is no need for more. LinkedIn uses outside your profile much smaller versions, so make sure that your picture is still recognizable in a smaller version.
It would be a waste of your charming smile when the background is too distracting. Also pictures with calm backgrounds are seen as more professional. That doesn’t mean the picture can’t be taken in a crowded room, but only if the camera isn’t focused on this. Blurry backgrounds won’t distract.
In some professions every rule for the best profile picture goes out the window. Especially in the creative industry you have more freedom to be playful. It is expected of photographers, artists or musicians to choose a more unique composition. If you don’t belong to one of these groups, use the tips above.
During the Masterclass my picture was used as an example of a good picture by Marcel Molenaar (Head of Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn). My picture wasn’t taken especially for LinkedIn but it does follow the criteria mentioned above. That was just a lucky coincidence. Feel free to look at my profile, or add me as a contact if you’ve enjoyed reading this blog. At NEXT we are happy to give our opinion on your picture. Drop by our office at the University Library (room 0123) and we’ll help you ahead.
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