LinkedIn is a social networking site that is focused on connecting working professionals with fellow professionals, jobs, companies, and schools. People and businesses use LinkedIn for a variety of reasons:
- Connecting with other professionals in their field.
- Following companies and schools.
- Sharing professional accomplishments (e.g. publications).
- Using LinkedIn jobs to search for jobs and internships.
- Recruiting professionals for jobs.
- Connecting with friends, families, bosses, and co-workers on a professional online platform.
LinkedIn is not like other social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) because it is strictly focused on work and education. People have a plethora of liberty when it comes to selecting a profile picture for their other social media accounts because those social media sites are focused on casual social networking. A profile picture on a Facebook or Twitter does not necessarily have to reflect the likeliness of the profile’s owner, but a profile picture on LinkedIn should reflect the profile’s owner in the best possible light.
LinkedIn profile pictures play an integral role in the numbers of views profiles receive. A LinkedIn profile that includes a profile picture is 11 times more likely to be viewed than a LinkedIn profile without a profile picture; therefore, it is important for people to choose wisely when it comes to selecting a profile picture for their LinkedIn profile. Due to the professional capacity of LinkedIn, there are certain types of pictures that should never be used as a LinkedIn profile picture.
Eight Types of Pictures to Never Use as a LinkedIn Profile Pictures
This guideline is mostly applicable for older adults. When professionals and recruiters are viewing professionals’ profile, they want to get a sense of their current likeness. An up-to-date profile picture is the only way for professionals to provide them with a current visual of themselves. Though most people feel they had less wrinkles and grey hairs ten years ago, using a picture that is ten years-old or older is not doing them any favours when it comes to providing fellow professionals and recruiters an accurate, up-to-date idea of their likeness and potential.
Photos where the professional is holding alcohol and/or is dressed in party attire is definitely not germane for a LinkedIn profile picture. Professionals definitely do want to give fellow professionals, prospective employers, and/or prospective schools the impression that they are a partier. The professionals may drink socially on weekends and be upstanding employees and/or students during the week, but they should never want to make individuals in their professional or educational realm question their merit based on their weekend pastimes.
Work and education is serious. However, people who are just as serious-if not even more serious- are not necessary. People who are austere tend to not be well-liked in work and educational settings. In modern workplace and classrooms, down-to-earth people with upbeat personalities tend to be the most appreciated. LinkedIn profile pictures should not include a person grinning ear to ear as if they had just won a million dollars, but they should include a smile with a touch of neutrality.
Pets are a central part of many people’s worlds. Unfortunately, individuals in their professional realm would not get the best impression from a LinkedIn profile picture that reflects the professional as a proud pet owner. Unless the professionals worked in a field that centered around animals (e.g. ASPCA, zoology, or pet store management), a profile picture that included them with their furry friends would not be the best idea when using LinkedIn for finance jobs in Singapore. Other LinkedIn users want to get a sense of people as professionals when viewing their profile, not who they are in their personal life.
Effective LinkedIn profile pictures should not be casually taken with a phone or digital camera. Though selfies are widely used as profile pictures on other social media sites, they do not meet the standards for a profile picture on LinkedIn. Even if the professional is dressed in business attire, the casual photo will not effectively represent their potential.
Many recent graduates do not invest their time and money in a professional headshot because they think that their graduation photo does justice as a professional photo. The mistake that many of these recent graduates make is using their graduation photo that has the watermark still on it. Though a graduation photo may be a professional photo and may symbolise academic achievement, it says little about what a recent graduate can bring to the workplace. Being successful academically is far cry from being successful in the business world. Unlike graduation photos, professional headshots reflect the potential that a professional has in the workplace.
Vacation on Wedding Photos
Vacation photos should not be used for the same reasons many of the other types of photos should not be used. More than likely, a professional will not be wearing business attire and posing for a professional headshot while on the beach in Thailand. Everyone goes on vacations, but it is not appropriate to give individuals in the professional realm, especially recruiters, the impression that you are an avid vacationer. If a recruiter gets the impression that you are an avid vacationer, they will more than likely not consider you for the job because they will want someone who is reliable and prompt.
Wedding photos being professional photos does not constitute them as effective LinkedIn profile pictures. The professional being a stunning bride or groom during the past year does not let recruiters know that they will be a stunning professional.
LinkedIn’s Default Photos
Simply settling on LinkedIn’s default profile picture of a silhouette will dramatically decreases profile views. Some professionals may do this because they feel insecure about their looks or fear discrimination based upon their looks. Though merit is more important than looks, fellow professionals and recruiters will feel like they are getting the complete picture of a professional’s potential when they see what he or she looks like. Fellow professionals and recruiters like to see pictures of people for the purposes of seeing if the person has personality by their facial expression and if they keep themselves looking presentable. Attractiveness plays a very minute role in the equation.
Use an Effective Profile Pictures
The boundary between professionalism and unprofessionalism has been blurred in the dig
ital world. The most effective LinkedIn profile pictures are professional headshots. Professional photographers know how to position the professional and edit the photo to reflect the professional’s maximum potential. If professionals are armed with effective LinkedIn profile pictures, using LinkedIn for jobs in Singapore will be a breeze.
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Eight Photos that Should Not Be on Your LinkedIn Profile