Most people don’t like having their photo taken — we get it. But sometimes we need to do things we don’t enjoy, like voting, or doing our taxes.
Your professional profile is the first time many people will see you, and first impressions really do count, so you want yours to be good.
As we draw towards the end of the year, it’s a good time to pause and review your profile photo to see if it’s up to scratch. Here are five things to look out for when considering if your professional profile is representing you in an appropriate way.
1. It’s too old.
If you’re profile photo is old enough to buy a drink at the bar, or you use it to show people what you looked like with hair, it’s definitely time for a new one. It can be tempting to use old photos to project a youthful version of ourselves, but at the end of the day your profile should look like you. There shouldn’t be any surprises for someone if they meet you after seeing your LinkedIn profile.
2. There’s more than one person
Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or your website, your profile is about you, and only you. Using group photos is not only confusing — which one is she? — but it can indicate a lack of confidence, and looks unprofessional. And if you’re worried about getting a solo photo of yourself that looks natural, we’re here to help!
3. It’s a selfie.
Unless you’re Kim Kardashian, your selfies won’t make you money. They don’t make a very good first impression, and look unprofessional. Do we need to say more?
4. It’s too serious
We’re sure you’ve seen these kinds of profile photos before — they are the opposite of the selfie. If you’re staring into the camera intensely, perhaps with fingerpoints touching, or a fist resting under your chin, it might be time to update to something that looks more approachable.
5. The LinkedIn silhouette
If you’re going for the mysterious ‘no photo’ look in the hopes of generating traffic to your profile, think again. Humans are social creatures, and we like to see who we’re dealing with. Also, your profile photo is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself.
Leaving this field blank on any networking website — LInkedIn, Facebook, Tinder — means that you’re unidentifiable, and less interesting compared to others on the list.