Why a photo on your LinkedIn profile is a must

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“Yard beautification” by Paul Swansen on Flickr

If you drive by a house with an unkempt lawn, what’s your immediate thought? If you’re like most people, you probably make a snap judgment that the owner is lazy or inept. “Everyone else got it done,” we think. “Why didn’t he?”

As social media use becomes more common, the same kinds of negative impressions are being registered when others visit your social media profiles. One example: what a LinkedIn page without a photo might signal to a visitor:

  • That you don’t know how to upload a photo (and are therefore incompetent)
  • That you haven’t taken the time to do it (and are therefore lazy)
  • That you don’t have a photo of yourself that you like (and are therefore either unattractive or lacking in confidence)

This may seem unfair. You may think “I’ve been working on more important things” or “All my good photos are on my home computer and I only access LinkedIn from work.” Unfortunately, the audience isn’t going to give you the benefit of the doubt. After all, when we see a lawn that needs mowing, we usually don’t cut the owner any slack. Regardless of whether there’s more to the story–a broken mower or a broken arm–we go with the information we have, and it registers as a negative impression.

If that’s not reason enough, it’s worth considering that LinkedIn profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be viewed than those with no photo. 14 times.

So before any more time goes by, take the time to add a photo to your LinkedIn profile. Here’s how you do it:

1. Ensure you have a photo loaded onto your computer and that know where to find it. Make sure it’s a vertically-oriented, professional photo (NOT one of you at play, with a spouse, with a dog, etc., unless that’s somehow related to your work) that will look good at 200 x 200 pixels. Even if you prefer how you looked five years ago, use something that looks like the present-day you.

2. Log in to LinkedIn

3. On the home page, click on Profile. You’ll automatically be in edit mode. Mouse over the photo box and you’ll see something that looks like this:

add photo.JPG

 

4. Click on the photo box. You’ll come to a screen that looks like this:

photo-prompt

5. Click “choose file”; select the photo from the correct folder on your hard drive

6. Click on “Upload photo”; adjust as needed

7. Click on “Save”

8. If you still have problems, contact me and I’ll walk you through it.

Now get out your camera, smile, and get it done. And while you’re at it, mow your lawn. :^)

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