Six Biggest LinkedIn Profile Photo Mistakes
So you have an amazing profile on LinkedIn. You have added all your previous employers, your amazing skill set and lots of contact information. You are busy building your network with people you know and influencers in your chosen industry. However, the one thing letting you down is a killer headshot for your profile. It is human nature to to make assumptions about people based on what they look like. However don’t take our word for it. We surveyed over 100 HR and recruitment professionals to find whether they make assumptions based on LinkedIn Photos.
Believe me, I know that no one likes to be photographed and many say they would rather root canal procedure than stand in front of a camera for 2 minutes. However, don’t let this allow you to fall into one of the many profile photo faux pars that we commonly see.
I thought, what better way to demonstrate why these LinkedIn photos are bad, than to try them ourselves and show you the results. So here you go…
The least favourite on our list is the ever popular selfie. We have all taken them (some more than others!!!) and while they are great for posting on the likes of Instagram and Facebook or a text home to show you made it to the top of Ben Nevis, they really don’t give an impression of professionalism. The arm in frame is of course a big giveaway but most don’t have a strong understanding of how light affects a portrait as well as how to stand and even where to look. Not to mention the Kardashian Pout which seems to go hand in hand. All this along with the fact that the focal length on a mobile phone widens the face, a selfie is not going to create an amazing impression when someone googles your name.
If you have ever switched on your webcam by mistake and you suddenly see yourself at your desk in a ‘relaxed’ position, you will know just how unflattering it can be. Webcams have a very wide focal length which widens the face (adds weight). Combined with the lighting which is normally terrible and the distracting background the end result is a very bad decision for your profile image. Yes it’s quick and convenient but not the image you want the world to judge you by.
The holiday snap
It’s almost understandable why we would use our holiday snaps for our headshots. After all, after a week in the sun we feel much less stressed and have that summer glow about us. However, unless you are Judith Chalmers, having a professional headshot taken at your favourite Greek taverna probably doesn’t represent you and your brand.
We see so many LinkedIn profile photos where the partner is cropped out of the photo. There is often an arm or shoulder still in the image. Whenever I look at an image like this, I get distracted and wonder what the other person looks like or what kind of night out you had and not the fact that you are a key influencer in your industry!
The invisible man (or woman)
Above all, the biggest sin in the list of what not to have as your LinkedIn profile is not having a profile image at all!!! That silhouette means that there is no connection with you whatsoever. Viewers of your profile will have no indication whatsoever about you or your personality. They will be left to create their own idea of how you come across. Should you have a name that is shared with many other (think John Smith), searchers for you may not find you as they won’t be able to identify you from the others. So even if you go for one of the options above, just make sure that you have something on there.
Practising what we preach!
Here is my actual LinkedIn photo. The lighting we use is flattering and using the correct focal length doesn’t distort the shape of my face. I am also dressed in what I wear for work. I hope that by looking at my image you get a feeling for who I am and my professionalism.
If your LinkedIn photo is like any of the mistakes above and you would like it updated, it would be great to hear from you. You can either fill in the form below or contact myself or Helen on 020 7523 5325