Is your LinkedIn profile picture saying what it should?
I’m interested in taking a look at what the perfect profile picture on LinkedIn is. What should the picture say to someone who is looking at and how does that picture help or hinder your ability to market your personal Brand?
As one looks to make the most out of their use of LinkedIn, there is no argument against the idea that a profile picture is necessary. Your profile picture is likely the first thing a recruiter will see as they check out your page, since you don’t have your picture on your Resume 1.0, why not put your picture on LinkedIn to add another dimension of personality. Speaking of personality what exactly should a profile picture consist of?
I think a profile picture should be Professional, Iterative and Candid. So there you have it, PIC. The “P” seems obvious. The profile picture should look professional. What may constitute as professionalism can be quite different between people with different careers and Brands, thus “Professional” is relative to the profession. Another aspect often brought up about “Professional” is whether or not to have a photographer actually take the pictures. I’ve rarely seen this argued against, but I really don’t find it completely necessary. If your brand image would do better with a picture that was taken by a non-professional, then there should be no reason to shell out the cash for a professional headshot. Make no mistake though, you need to ensure that the picture does LOOK good, not just a cell-phone pic.
I’ll get to “Iterative” last, for now let’s be “Candid”. Your picture should represent who you really are, and the Brand that you are trying to represent. For example, while not regarded as “professional photography”, if a Roller-coaster Engineer wanted is Brand to exemplify “Active lifestyle toward my career”, he may be best served with a candid photo of him sitting in the car of a coaster he helped design!
Your profile picture needs to be Iterative in nature, you should know by your own personal branding over the years that what you want to say changes. The same ideas should be placed on your profile picture. You should always be aware that your Brand and picture should be in sync. Your profile picture should add credibility to your brand and value statements. It should be able to deliver its message at first sight and when you change your Brand tactics, be able to gather another picture that will carry your brand further.