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.
Even so, you may not have the time or inclination to suit up for a professional headshot on your LinkedIn Profile.
However, if you substituted any of these “convenient” pictures of yourself (all found as actual pictures on LinkedIn) for an online photo, your professional credibility can be called into question:
1 – Gazing off into the distance.
Most people build trust by looking directly at the camera—which makes the reader (probably a prospective employer!) believe you’re sincerely interested in their needs.
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.
3 – Glancing over your shoulder in the car.
Seriously, that headrest in the photo isn’t the nice touch you thought it might be.
4 – Showing 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.
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.)
All joking aside, if you’re intent on using 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.
All it takes is your best suit, the nearest person handy with a digital camera (even your teenager), and a quick upload to your Profile to make a much better impression.