If you're thinking about a job search or just want to make better connections within your industry, having a high-quality LinkedIn page is a great way to improve your standing. However, that often starts with a good profile picture, and there are a lot of nuances to getting it "just right."
The following tips should help you do so, though, and that could help you take that all-important next step in your career:
1) Update it
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about your LinkedIn profile pic is that it's often your first introduction to a hiring manager or someone in your industry, so it has to be relatively up-to-date, according to LinkedIn. After all, if you don't look like your profile picture - that is, if you've changed your haircut, visibly aged, gotten new glasses or otherwise gotten a "new look" - you may catch people by surprise.
2) Keep it high-res
No one wants to click on a profile picture and realize it's relatively low resolution, especially because that probably means you just haven't updated your picture in a while, LinkedIn added. While it doesn't necessarily have to look like an image from the Hubble Space Telescope, it should be a fairly good size and image resolution so it's not too blurry or hard to figure out what you look like.
3) Make it a headshot
A classic mistake many people make on LinkedIn is including a full-body picture or one that shows them from the waist up, according to Meero. Experts actually recommend that your profile picture be made up mostly of your head and face so people aren't guessing as to what you look like.
4) Dress professionally - to your usual level
Another big and all too common mistake? People who work careers that require them to dress either casual or business casual, but who wear suits in their profile pictures - or vice versa, Meero said. LinkedIn isn't a job interview, and you don't have to dress up for it if that's not what your normal job requires. Just wear something you might wear into the office on any given day and you'll set the right tone.
5) Don't look too serious or too casual
Just like you're trying to project the right image with your attire, it's also important that your facial expression is appropriate as well, according to Brand Yourself. That typically means finding a middle ground between a big smile and a more "neutral" expression so you seem pleasant without being overly effusive.
6) Keep the background simple
Finally, because your face should take up a good percentage of the photo in the first place, you might not think the background matters too much - but it does, Brand Yourself advised. Anything that's too bright or distracting can draw attention away from your face, which means it's important to keep the background relatively simple, such as a solid color, a basic brick wall or something similar so you remain the center of attention.
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