How (NOT) to Fail at LinkedIn: Your Photo

I use LinkedIn quite heavily as a way to build and maintain my network, and I must admit that I am continually appalled at many of the profiles I see.

It’s almost as if they were designed to fail. Then, there’s the occasional exception – clear wording, attractive picture, succinct purpose statements.

With my career clarity therapy clients, one of our outcomes is to produce a compelling and attractive LI profile. And we always start with first things first.

The photo. Because making a bad first impression is never a good idea.

LinkedIn photo first impression

Look – you have a few seconds to grab anyone’s attention, and generally speaking, the first thing anyone sees is your photo (or its absence). We’re human – from infancy, we’re wired to notice faces.

So why wouldn’t you put your best face forward?

So, in this first part of a series on effective use of LinkedIn, I’m going to address the lowest-hanging fruit there is. The most bang for your LinkedIn buck. Which is having an attractive, professional profile picture.

I put my thoughts into SlideShare format because – you know – visuals! And some of these are pretty amusing (or appalling). Take a few minutes to see what I mean, then skate on over to your LinkedIn profile and see if you’re succeeding – or failing – in this crucial first-impression area.


Also on the blog: “I’m Sorry, but I Just Can’t Refer You…”

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  1. Great advise. I’d be surprised though, if at the moment LinkedIn does not give some basic tips when uploading a photo? (such as these). Although, then they raise the threshold, people will not be happy with their photographs, and they’ll upload none. I guess from a LinkedIn perspective, any photograph is better than no photograph.

    (Theoretically, they _could_ process all the photographs, find out which ones are crappy – not enough face, group shots, too dark/wrong hue/unsharp/.. and gently nudge those people to upload a new one with some guidelines for DIY LinkedIn photography. Most smartphones are up to that nowadays, just need some right light.)

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