We love a selfie here at LSE Careers. Whether it’s a picture of students, alumni or employers at one of our fairs or the volunteer centre sharing experiences of volunteers during a one-off, selfies are a great way to celebrate and share moments! But there are times where a selfie isn’t quite right, particularly in a professional context, namely LinkedIn.
When picking a LinkedIn photo – or a photo for any platform where you’ll have a profile or account – it’s important to think about that platform’s purpose and what you’ll be using it for. LinkedIn is ‘the world’s largest professional network’, so making sure you have a professional photo to match your profile is key!
The photo you use is one of the first things a new connection or potential employer will see, it’s your chance to make a great first impression, so take the time to make sure you get it right.
Here are some top tips to nail your LinkedIn photo:
Dress for the occasion! You don’t need to purchase a new outfit, but think about what your future job or position requires. Formal, smart-casual, business dress? Of course, make sure you stay true to yourself and show off your personality, you don’t have to stick to black, grey and blue coloured outfits!
Ask someone to take the photo for you. Selfies, alongside not being a seen as a professional way to photograph, can also result in a lower quality photo. The lighting might not be quite right, the angle can be difficult to gauge and the distance you take the photo from is limited to the length of your arm – unless you have a selfie stick! Ask a friend or a colleague to take a photo for you. It shows you’ve made the extra effort! And you could always return the favour and both get new, professional LinkedIn photos.
Make sure you’re the focus of the picture. Try to avoid busy backgrounds with lots going on, this can be distracting. Instead, opt for a plain background or one with few objects in it.
Smile! Whether that’s with teeth or not – this all comes back to making a good first impression and being approachable from the moment someone looks you up on LinkedIn. Remember that the words you use in your LinkedIn profile are important and but so is your picture! It’s one you could also use on twitter, facebook and other platforms, depending on how you use them and what profession you’re in or planning to move in to.
When you’re taking the time to take a new photo for your profile, don’t forget to also check that all your details and experience is up-to-date too. You can read some top LinkedIn profile tips here.