Does Your LinkedIn Photo Look Like You Just Don’t Care?

You’ve already been told how important your photograph is to your social media identity – and you certainly understand that other LinkedIn users will be more likely to network with you when they can see your face.

In fact, your online picture is so crucial for establishing rapport and promoting your personal brand that LinkedIn has made it part of the criteria for reaching 100% Profile completeness.

However, if you substituted any of these “convenient” pictures of yourself for a classic professional photograph, your business credibility can be called into question:

1 – Gazing off into the distance.

Most people build trust by looking directly at the camera—which makes your reader (ahem, employers) believe you’re sincerely interested in their needs.

If you’ve used a photo that shows your attention directed elsewhere, be sure it represents your brand in another way, such as showing you addressing a business audience during a speaking engagement.

2 – Cropped out of a family photo.

If you’re so reluctant to have a photo taken by yourself that you’ll resort to having your spouse’s shoulder included on LinkedIn, recruiters might wonder if he or she will need to accompany you to the interview.

If your family photo is the only current picture you have available, then it’s time to suit up and have a friend or spouse take some pictures of you in natural light as an alternative.

3 – Glancing over your shoulder in the car.

Seriously, that headrest in the photo isn’t the nice touch you thought it might be.

Even a casual photo on LinkedIn that shows your personality is better than an “accidental” pose, in which your non-professional side becomes more memorable than your career. So again, hand your phone or digital camera to someone you trust, and take an array of shots in neutral settings.

4 – Showing off some serious skin.

You look wonderful at the beach, but while everyone wants to see you more often, they probably don’t want to see more of you.

Think of LinkedIn as the “professional environment” that you’d most likely want to be seen in by co-workers, and you’ll understand why full business attire will make the best impression.

5 – Looking much too stern.

A smile goes a long way toward helping your target audience feel comfortable reaching out to you. Conversely, that “mug shot” look doesn’t quite build rapport in the same manner.

Showing you’re serious about your career doesn’t necessarily require a wide grin, but you’ll want to adopt an approachable demeanor in your photo – which, if done right, can project an air of authority and knowledge without appearing grim.

The bottom line? Particularly if you’re trying to utilize LinkedIn to move ahead in your career (and who isn’t?), you’ll receive a more positive reception by looking the part of the role you hope to gain.

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