Your LinkedIn photo is your primary ambassador to the world. Let’s look at the 10 worst types of photos you MUST avoid when choosing your LinkedIn profile picture.
Using a picture of you in a relaxed situation can be a great idea. However, choose carefully. Avoid pictures in a crowd and avoid shots where you are holding a glass or bottle of alcohol.
You need to ban all photos from your graduation, your wedding or your military service. Basically, any pictures that do not represent you as you are today. Yes, also the one when you still had hair.
Your beloved baby isn’t appropriate in your business pictures and neither is your puppy. Buyers aren’t interested in your family life; they are more interested in evaluating you as a reliable supplier.
If you are a passionate hunter, birdwatcher or hiker, spare everyone the pictures of your adventures into the wild. Pictures with weapons are definitely off-limits. This category also includes pictures of your volunteer activities. There is a dedicate LinkedIn section to show everybody you are a good Samaritan.
I’m sure there will be enough space in the hobby section of your profile to demonstrate your love for your favourite sport. So, unless you are a professional athlete, avoid using that action shot for LinkedIn.
Don’t appear too gloomy or too serious. Don’t go overboard with the dark tones. Most people won’t understand Gothic or dramatic pictures. People might mistake you for a recluse or someone unstable.
If you are good-looking, this is a plus. Good for you! Except when it becomes a show. Avoid using your profile picture to showcase your professional photo shoot. If you are a real model, you can upload your shoots on SlideShare and then link it to your profile.
NO, NO, NO you can’t upload your digital avatar as a profile picture and please avoid using that picture of you at the last cosplay or comicon meetup you were at!
During the Holiday Season, don’t upload a profile picture of you with a Santa Claus hat. It’s just cheesy.
Note for the readers: None of the pictures you saw are actually on LinkedIn. I replaced the original ones with other very similar ones released with a Creative Common Licence on Flickr. This was done to protect the professionals. I don’t want to point any fingers, just help my subscribers build their LinkedIn profiles.