Whether you are a college student about to be launched into the working world or someone launched long ago, consider your LinkedIn photo.
Social networking site LinkedIn connects people in business. Some people rack up 500+ connections and forget about it. Stay active on LinkedIn with current contacts and find new ones.
Put your best face forward: some guidelines for your professional photo:
1. Don’t overthink this.
No photo equals fewer opportunities. Don’t fuss over the perfect photo – you will never have it. Pick up your phone and take it yourself. Remove your sunglasses first.
2. Lose the third cheek.
Sometimes you see a slice of a significant other, cropped (unsuccessfully) out of the photo. Maybe you two should spend some time apart.
3. Choose your props carefully.
I have seen a LinkedIn photo of a person who is an advocate for animals, holding a baby.
I have seen a photo of a person who is an advocate for children, holding a dog.
Match your professional photo with your line of work.
4. Dress like you mean business.
Business casual is fine. But save the swimsuit photos for Facebook. Ditto for the wedding dress. (“Join my professional network… but I’ll be thinking about my wedding.”)
5. Head shot or full body?
Some people look minuscule, in an effort to show a great background or set a scene. Nothing wrong with that. My friend, a Veterinary Specialist at a large university, is pictured with cows in her LinkedIn photo. It’s awesome.
What else does your photo say? Smiling: friendly, approachable. Unsmiling: solemn, serious. Big grin: sassy. Posed: professional. Selfie: on the move. Black and white photos: retro-hip. Tilted at a diagonal: confident, a little cocky.
Let your LinkedIn photo reflect who you are professionally, and where you are going.
Thanks to the Culture and Manners Institute for the tips! Follow them on Twitter: @MannersThatMove.