Oh my! The number of LinkedIn sites with terrible profile photos boggles the mind!!!
A great photo will help to build your brand, and a poorly selected shot does the opposite. Picture mistakes are easy to find. Just open LinkedIn and do a quick browse. Chances are you’ll see several examples of these career damaging mistakes:
Selfies - Never post a selfie: just don’t do it. Save that digital self-portrait for Facebook, Instagram and other personal sites.
Family pictures - LinkedIn is about YOU. Use that family shot on the beach for next years’ Christmas card, but not on your professional profile.
Vacation photos - LinkedIn isn’t show and tell. Under no circumstances should a profile shot be taken in front of the coliseum in Rome, on the ski slopes, or with a gigantic fish.
Animals - The “hiking with my dogs” photo is good for the desk, but not for LinkedIn.
Exercise shots - Not a personal trainer? … We don’t want to see it. In fact even if you are a professional trainer, it is better to get out of those sweaty workout clothes before getting a photo snapped.
Cropping people out of the picture – Spoiler alert! We can still see him!! That hand on the shoulder is a dead giveaway.
Obvious home / office background – Take a spin through LinkedIn and see how many ridiculous backdrops you can find. I went on a quick tour while writing this post and within 5 minutes found these terrible choices:
· In a home kitchen - Without even bothering to clean up the counter!
· Hallways – The mirrors and pictures on the walls make the hall easy to spot.
· In front of a window - Blinds open or closed? It doesn’t work either way.
Hiking - On the trail, at the top of a mountain, or any scenic spot along the way. Just say no.
In a car – Bragging isn’t attractive. That expensive ride probably belongs to someone else anyway.
Swimming pool - Even if you’re fully clothed, it’s a bad idea.
Pictures that don’t include YOU - That scenic shot of a sunrise, valley, or beach won’t help people find you.
Holding an instrument - Band members and instrument repair shops get a hall pass on this one. If this doesn't describe you, change your career or the picture.
Trying to be cool - Wearing sunglasses, ball caps, stocking caps, sports jerseys, or throwing us a peace sign, high-five, or thumbs up… it’s not cool.
Holding a wine glass or beer - Seriously?!?!? Yes, there are actually pictures out there of people drinking alcohol. If this is you (and you don’t own a winery or craft beer microbrewery), do yourself a favor and stop reading this blog long enough to change your profile picture. When you’re done, come right back.
You get the picture, keep it classy. It’s that simple.