Hunted through your phone for a digital shot you can use on LinkedIn – or searched through family photos for something you can crop?
You’ve pretty much just told everyone that you don’t understand LinkedIn.
Now that word has gotten out about the advantage of a photo on your LinkedIn Profile, you might be posting any shot with your likeness – much to your detriment in the job search.
Here are telltale signs that you’ve picked the wrong photo for your LinkedIn avatar:
1 – It shows part of your house.
Facebook is a great venue for photos from your kitchen or living room. LinkedIn, however, should represent your business side.
For many of us, that’s a conservative photo with a business demeanor, taken by a professional photographer who can position and illuminate our best features.
You can, however, use a shot from in your office, inside the company manufacturing facility, in the boardroom, or wherever you conduct your professional life.
2 – It shows part of someone else.
If you’re standing close enough to someone that their hair or cheek can be seen in your photo, you’re busted. The same is true of shoulders or any other part of another person.
Get past your reluctance to have your photo taken by asking a friend to take some flattering shots or by visiting a pro. Any fears you have about having your photo taken professionally will quickly evaporate when you see how good they can make you look.
Even a businesslike "selfie" is preferable to cropping yourself out of the family reunion.
3 – It shows too much of you.
Professional dress is not the same attire you’d wear to a party or nightclub – period. From a practical standpoint, it’s what most people expect to see on you, day in and day out, at your next job.
While this may seem an old-fashioned stance, it’s shared by many a hiring manager, who could be eyeing up those bare shoulders and tank top with a critical eye.
As the saying goes, you’ll never have a second chance to make a positive first impression! Leave the revealing or glamour shots for Facebook.
The best option for your LinkedIn photo? You can't go wrong with job interview attire or clothing typical of your workday (open-collar shirt, suit and tie, blouse and sweater, etc.).
This way, you’ll be sure to attract the right kind of attention, demonstrating your intent as a serious contender for a new, challenging professional role.