You only have one opportunity to make a first impression. A recruiter or hiring manager’s first perception of you may be based solely on what they see in your LinkedIn profile photo. Your professional image is important, even online. According to LinkedIn, simply having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others.
We want to help you shine on LinkedIn. Here are five tips to being an all-star professional with the right LinkedIn profile picture.
Don’t Sabotage Your Profile with Selfies – Don’t send the wrong message by using a selfie as your LinkedIn profile photo. If you can’t get a professional headshot, ask a friend or co-worker to take a picture of you using a phone. Make sure you have professional work attire on that day. Keep selfies on Facebook and Instagram but use discretion. Recruiters and hiring managers will often view those profiles too.
Meet LinkedIn’s Image Size Criteria – LinkedIn occasionally changes the layout of the platform, and you’ll want to know how to meet its latest visual requirements. The ideal size for your LinkedIn profile picture currently is 400 x 400 pixels. Larger file sizes are also acceptable, but try to avoid small, low-resolution images. If the picture looks blurry when you upload it, you may want to opt for a different one.
Your Photo Should Reflect How You Look Now – If your LinkedIn profile photo was taken more than a decade ago, it’s time to replace it. Make sure your headshot accurately represents how you look and dress for work on a regular basis. You want to be easily identifiable during interviews and onboarding for a new job or position. Additionally, use LinkedIn filters carefully.
Be Mindful of Your Background – You want your LinkedIn profile photo to be professional and basic. Avoid distracting backdrops. Your photo should simply feature you, not a company logo, hobbies, or pets. It’s ideal to pose in front of a light, solid-colored background. You can also apply a soft blur effect to keep the focus on the subject, which is you.
It’s Okay to Smile – Having a professional LinkedIn photo doesn’t mean you can’t show a little personality. A hiring manager or recruiter wants to know that the prospect they may invest in has a friendly appearance rather than a cold one. Smiling gives you a more approachable look. One study of 800 profile pictures found that people view you as likable, competent, and influential if you smile in your pic. And smiles that show teeth were rated twice as likable as closed-mouth smiles.
The way you present yourself on LinkedIn can either create or break a potential relationship with a recruiter or can be a deciding factor for a hiring manager when choosing between top candidates. Make an intentional choice for your LinkedIn profile image and be prepared to connect and network with other professionals.
What are some other strategies you use to create the perfect LinkedIn profile picture? Let us know in the comments section below.