The politics of a good LinkedIN Profile Picture

I’m not sure how this topic has managed to fly off radar for so long, but after a few recent searches I don’t think I can, or should hold my tongue. Some people have some really quite outrageous profile pictures on LinkedIn, and as it is not social networking per say, but business networking – a simple copy paste from your Facebook profile is not going to really be appropriate in most circumstances. And whilst I did have a quick chuckle at the support guy who has covered his head with a smiley emoji, some of these others would gain a far less than impressed reaction from most potential employers, or external AND internal recruiters.

The holiday snap: Now don’t get me wrong if you have scaled Mt Everest, been wandering through Venice, or generally have any other photos of yourself from distant shores in which you like the picture, and you are fully clad – go for it! I am talking about the holiday snaps here where you have taken a selfie whilst in a bikini at the beach, or blokes, you know just in your swim trunks… so ok in the interest of making it more “fit for purpose” you have cropped it so it just shows you from the shoulders up. Good one; now you kind of look naked. Now folks this might be a good opportunity for a quick poll, nakedness definitely equals professionalism right? Right?

The I’m too cool for school so I’ve got sunglasses on in inappropriate scenarios pic: Now if you have chucked on a super impressive shot of you fishing – hauling up the monster catch, or you are bush walking, or (insert other outdoors activity here) awesome, good on you. You are protecting your retinas and that is an admirable quality. But if your photo is of you indoors, in a suit, why the shades sir? Are you engaged in shady business? What have you got to hide? Deliberately obscuring your face, and in particular your eyes – when there is no apparent reason for doing so doesn’t necessarily conjure the idea of a warm, open, engaging team member… Just saying…

Pictures of someone else: As much as you might want to be, you are not Samuel L. Jackson. Case closed.

The one guy, two gals pic: Yeah, I’m not sure who implied this was a dating site to you, but it’s not, and no matter the amount of gun flexing or number of blondes in the background is going to change that… or at least one hopes. Professional credibility – minimal.

The Wedding photo: To be honest this shows your focus is elsewhere, and if you have put this as your profile pic it probably is. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the…. career development?? I know they are professionally shots pictures in which you probably look amazing, but maybe just leave these on the mantle piece. Or chuck a blazer on top of the wedding gown for a quick snap or two 😉

Traffic Selfies: If you live in Auckland, or any other number of large cities around the world we know that traffic can be a bane for most professionally employed people, heck it’s a pain for everyone, employed or not! And if you want to take traffic selfies, complete with seat belt, hey go for it, who I am to tell you otherwise. But maybe don’t use these as LinkedIn profile pictures – although I’m sure most employers would love to know that whilst you are illegally taking selfies in your car that you are still safety conscious enough to keep buckled up!

Others may disagree with what I have said here, but it is just my two cents. If you have seen any other gems that you would like to add to the list feel free to do so below!

Happy Job Hunting!


One Comment

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  1. Great reality check ….. Tabitha. Good advice

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