You have to pretty much be living under a rock to have never heard of LinkedIn. If this is your first time peeking out, well, I can briefly tell you that it’s the world’s largest online professional network. Refer to this link if you want to know more: https://www.linkedin.com. I’d like to take a moment to address people who are already on LinkedIn.
Have a look at your LinkedIn profile picture. Is it professional? It doesn’t necessarily have to be taken in a photographer’s studio, but it should at least look professional. It is quite acceptable to have your photograph taken in an on-the-job context. Heck, sometimes it’s okay to have a picture taken with your dog. My concern is what I call the “other” category.
It honestly puzzles me when I see some profile pictures. I’ve seen shirtless men holding babies in diapers with Christmas trees behind them. I’ve seen people with half of another person beside them and their arms linked, as if the rest of the wedding party was just chopped out of the image. I’ve seen people in living rooms where there appears to be artwork or statues growing out of the top of their head. I’ll never forget the lady with hair that seemed suspiciously similar to a spider plant cascading around her head. It’s pretty hard to be taken seriously when you are smoking a cigarette (or worse) so clearly this is not advisable while you get your photo snapped.
Make sure the resolution and size meet the technical specs of the site. Nobody wants to see what I call “hamburger head”… a picture that is stretched sideways much like, well… a hamburger.
Ideally, retain a professional photographer. Ladies however, please steer away from what we call “Glamour Shots” from the 80s. I occasionally still see the slightly blurry images, feather boas (I’m not kidding), extreme make up (twin exhaust pipe-type eyes) and billowing hair. Here’s the thing: if you are inside, say in front of a bookcase, it just doesn’t make sense that your hair would be blowing in any direction let alone windswept over your head.
I constantly hear from my recruiter and human resource contacts that they are stunned when they see some pictures. More importantly, they sometimes base their decision not to call the job candidate in for an interview because of the picture.
You can never go wrong by playing it conservative.
And for those of you who still do not have a profile picture: get one! People hire people, not white cartoon outlines of heads in grey boxes. The last time I heard, a picture makes your profile seven times more likely to be viewed by others.
Whether you are just joining LinkedIn or realize you need to update your photo, don’t forget to smile!