Your LinkedIn Profile Picture – The Do’s & Don’ts
I’m not writing this article to point out emphatically what is right or what is “more” wrong. I can only write it from a perspective that I have nurtured and grown over the years based on my experience in the Recruitment industry and hopefully it may provide you with some additional insight.
As you can see – my own LinkedIn profile pic has somewhat of a business casual flair (moreso than a night out with my buddies at the local watering hole). However I have to be honest, I’ve never been a fan of sitting in front of the camera. Ask any of my friends and family who have tried to take my picture over the years and it’s close to impossible. But I really do believe it can make a difference, especially when you are out there trying to promote yourself.
This particular picture for me was an accidental snapshot – which ended up being my profile pic. Because to me – it does represent that this is how I feel when I am doing what I am passionate about. And yes – that is running my own recruitment agency. If you ever want to see a real life sample of that passion – just ask me about my company.
And that is how I determined which profile picture to use when presenting myself in the business world.
Which one makes “me” feel comfortable.
Don’t put up one because someone tells you that you have to, or you will just end up grabbing the first one you can think of, which may not always be the best route to take. You have to be motivated by presenting YOU. A picture truly can “paint a thousand words“. Not to mention it’s also a good exercise for you to practice putting yourself out there with confidence.
I’ve also spoken to both friends and colleagues about their views with respect to the infamous profile pic. One colleague gave me a very interesting story. She said she would never post her profile pic because she fears judgment based on her skin color and her personal style.
I didn’t like hearing that.
But she had a point – and it really bothered me that she did.
Regardless of how open and diversified we may think we are – there will always be judgement based on personal bias. Yes – even in the business world. There are just more places to hide it.
I can only hope that with an awareness of this, that “ we the people,” will perhaps hesitate in passing immediate judgement.
As a recruiter I do prefer to see profile pictures when searching for new candidates and talent. But even though it is my first preference, I do not dismiss a potential applicant if their profile is strong from a content perspective. Content really is King in my business, especially in the early screening stages.
At times I have had to wrestle with my own perception of “what is right or wrong”, especially from a societal perspective. Something we are all often influenced by.
And my deciding opinion is – yes, put up a picture if you are comfortable with it. We all have that one picture where we have to admit “yes, I do look good in that one.” That one picture that makes you smile and say “that’s me.”
You can also base your picture selection on what industry you are in and/or what seniority level you are currently at. I for one do not want to see a senior level executive seeking new opportunities, with a picture showing him or her out dancing with friends or “having a few”. Even though I have absolutely no issues with either social function, I do believe there has to be some level of decorum.
Keeping in mind, I would also have no problem seeing a profile pic that reflects a funky kick ass illustration, if I happen to be looking for a 3D artist.
My final recommendation – is whenever possible – try and put your best picture forward and particularly one that reflects who you are and maybe even what you do. Find a balance that best supports both aspects.
Remember, first impressions can be lasting.
© 2018 Judith Mallard