The primary purpose of your LinkedIn profile is to advance your career. Unless that’s a career as a practitioner of art, it’s not really the best place to express yourself too creatively. It’s not about showing your personality — it’s about showing how hirable you are.
With that in mind, it’s amazing how many people get all creative in their LinkedIn photos and potentially scare away the people they’re trying to attract. Business2community.com nicely summarizes eight common bad choices people make when they’re picking a photo for their profile. Don’t let this be you.
Boy, wasn’t high school a long time ago? If your yearbook picture is in black and white, wasn’t it a very long time ago? Unless you’re still a teen, find a more recent picture that reflects the adult you.
If you think it’s a clever idea to present yourself as a friendly, sociable person, um, no. It just makes you look like you don’t take things seriously enough.
Wow, you’re soulful. And deep. And you would therefore be no fun to work with. And what do you look like? We can’t tell.
We’re sure you’re doing great on Tinder, but that has absolutely no bearing on your suitability for the job. We’re looking for someone professional.
Aren’t you serious and committed? We’ll bookmark your profile for when we’re looking for someone oppressive.
The Pet Lover
There are vanishingly few jobs this would be good for — a pet food salesperson or a vet. Really, we’re happy for you that you’ve got such a loving relationship with your dog, but it’s not an appropriate look at all.
You may be the best selfie-taker ever, but LinkedIn isn’t Instagram. You’re not looking for likes. You’re looking for the kind of credibility someone who provides a proper picture deserves.
The LinkedIn Silhouette
No picture is no solution. Most career coaches say you do need a photo of yourself. You want to make the decision to hire you as easy as possible, and not leave prospective employers wondering. Make it a no-brainer for recruiters with a great, professional-looking portrait of employable you.
As with the way you groom yourself, speak on the phone, and handle yourself in interviews, the impression you create with your LinkedIn profile — which has supplanted a résumé in importance for many employers — is something that’s worth spending some time perfecting. After all, you won’t be there when someone looks at your profile to correct any wrong impressions they get, so do everything you can to ensure that they don’t get any, and that your best self comes shining through.