Many people resist including their photo on LinkedIn and there are legitimate concerns about this. Perhaps you worry about discrimination. Perhaps you don’t like the photos you have available.
But the truth is that your LinkedIn photo is vital. Profiles without photos are far less effective than those that include one. There’s something about seeing that faceless icon in a long strong of search results that makes it much more unlikely a recruiter will click on your profile to read more.
Not having a LinkedIn photo also makes it less likely that people will accept your requests to connect and this is a key benefit of using LinkedIn.
Adding a photo to LinkedIn is easy, but the question is what type of photo should you use?
- First, I recommend having some pictures taken professionally if you can afford it. If not, have a friend or family member take your picture but choose professional clothing and a neutral setting.
- The photo should be a head shot for the simple reason that LinkedIn photos are very small. If you use a full body shot, no one will be able to see your face and this is almost as bad as not having a picture at all.
- The picture must be well-lit and in focus.
- My preferred look for a LinkedIn photo is business casual, by which I mean, look smart but approachable. Don’t choose one of those very traditional corporate headshots because it can make you look unapproachable. If possible, you should be smiling in your shot as this makes people much more likely to connect with you.
- Your photo should be as close to a square as possible. This is because once you upload it to LinkedIn, the site will force you to crop the photo to a square shape and if the original picture is an oblong, you may find that parts of your face are cut off.
In short, your LinkedIn photo should make the same impression on people as if you were greeting them personally. Make it friendly, warm, approachable, and professional. Good luck!