Photos, photos, photos. Our world is increasingly dominated by images and the power they have on the way we think and the way we act. After all, there we have it – a purely image-based social media that is enjoying huge success. Yes, I’m talking about Instagram, of course.
It’s an era driven by visual appealing and influence. If you wish to make an impression – well, you have to utilize images to the best. Otherwise you won’t quite cut the slack.
And it’s with that introduction that I kick off the topic I’d like to write about today. However, I won’t be talking about image vanity in Instagram. Instead, I’ll focus on an other social media that heavily relies on image…in a more professional sense.
I’m talking about the business networking giant LinkedIn.
As I have already noted, the majority of recruiters (well over 90%!) use LinkedIn to monitor and then successfully hire employees through the business social media. It’s an incubator of job opportunities with flocks of recruiters flipping through profile and equal flocks of people hopeful enough to land a good position.
And amidst all that chaos, there is something which is a direct hit or miss.
That’s right – LinkedIn profile pictures.
A recruiter might not even reach your Linkedin summary or listed competencies if your profile photo is terrible. If it doesn’t click, it goes through the window and it’s on to the next prospective employee for the monitoring recruiter.
The question here is how can you make an impressions with that square area reserved for your LinkedIn photo?
Actually, it’s not so hard at all. There are just a few guidelines that you must adhere to when making your social media profile and maintaining your business image in LinkedIn. Let me give you some starting points that will get your profile picture rumbling and attract some attention…instead of driving visitors away.
#1 Eye contact
Look at me. If I’m roaming the social media waters and happen to stumble upon your profile, I’m surely looking at you. So if your picture has you looking elsewhere and not at me, we’re done. Why should I care about someone who hasn’t got the confidence and common ethics to reciprocate?
A lack of eye contact is very, very bad as it diminishes hospitality and makes you look uninterested in anything. Now, the case may not be such, but it’s just the first thought that comes to my mind. And it will be the last, as I venture on to another profile.
#2 Proper lighting and editing
Both photos that are too dark or too bright are a big no-no. If it’s too dark, I won’t be able to see your face and recognize you. It also looks unprofessional…in the most professional and business related social media.
Too strong-lit images are even worse as they are invasive to the sight of a user skimming through profiles. Same applies for badly edited (or over-edited) photos – don’t try to appear artsy and show off your filter skills. LinkedIn is more conservative and to the point. Your quirkiness might not fit with the mood this social media sets.
#3 Proper background
It absolutely amazes me how sometimes people choose the worst background for their images. Even a plain black background sometimes seems to be an improvement over the current painful status quo.
Whenever you make a photo and consider making it your profile picture on LinkedIn, please, think about your background too. If you want to appear professional and reliable, tinker around with the background and do it so that it matches the mood of your picture. You can do a preset background, choose to have a certain corporate logo or a specific product…whatever it is, just make sure it fits. There is nothing sadder than a great picture ruined by inadequate background.
These are the absolute basics of a successful and more appealing LinkedIn profile picture. There are many intricate and not-so-intricate details, however, they are all based off these three rules.
As I said, the times we live in are very visual-based and strongly lie on looks, self-presentation and eye candy fragments. In a competitive social media such as LinkedIn, I think it’s a good idea to appeal to these rules, use their core concept to your advantage…and if you’re lucky, land that business opportunity.