By Emily Ferraro
Having an online brand can all be summed up in one picture. How can you make sure that your picture sends the right message? Hopefully you’re beginning to think about how your professional brand is represented across different social media platforms. The LinkedIn profile picture is the essence of your professional brand. Here are 7 tips to consider when thinking about your image.
1.) First, Make Sure You Have One!
LinkedIn research shows that a page with a profile picture is seven times as likely to be viewed as a page without one. When someone is looking over your page, they want to gain a connection just like a personal interaction. Having a professional picture that follows these tips will immediately give them a stronger impression of who you are rather than a blank photo.
2.) No “Selfies” Please!
The self-portrait photo is the most popular style of professional profile pictures, but if you can help it, don’t take the picture by yourself. People viewing your profile will be able to tell if you took this on your laptop or extended your arm to get your whole face in the frame on your cell phone. LinkedIn is not the place for selfies. This does not mean that you must hire a professional photographer but ask a trusted friend or family member to use a high quality camera or phone to take your photo for you.
3.) Photo For One:
Make sure you are the only person in your photo: exclude any and all friends, family, spouses, and pets from the photo. Your LinkedIn profile picture should be focused on you and only you. Try to refrain from using a cropped image where someone has been cut out of the image. If you are serious about your job search and you can’t find a picture of just you, this is the perfect excuse to create a recent and professional image.
4.) Keep Current:
Use a recent photo of yourself. Your brand should be transparent and consistent. You do not want to be unrecognizable in person compared to your profile picture. If you look different than the picture you have posted online, it’s time to post a new one to reflect who you are in person.
5.) Dress To Impress:
Think about how you would dress for an interview or professional networking opportunity in person and dress that way for your profile picture. Remember your profile image should reflect who you are in person; this will help your brand remain professional and reliable.
6.) Be CLEAR:
Refrain from using photos that are blurry, pixelated, shadowed, or out of focus. You don’t want to be too far away in the picture that you are unable to be identified. When someone reviews your page or sees your photo, nothing is more distracting than a blurry or low-quality image. You want to make the right first impression, and a clear professional quality image is the best indicator that you take your brand seriously.
7.) Look Forward to Your Future:
Your picture should represent you in the best way possible. Be charismatic and smile while looking forward at the camera. Try not to look too serious or stare blankly into the camera. The picture should be a clear picture of your face from the shoulders up. Refrain from using logo’s and designs in the picture.
Emily Ferraro is new to the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students to help them achieve their personal and professional career goals and specializes in topics such as personal branding and resume writing.