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Nobody is going to tell you your LinkedIn photo sucks.

August 6, 2019 / in How To, LinkedIn / by

I do a lot of LinkedIn training for executive teams and sales teams. And I’ve been doing it for more than ten years. So I’ve seen a BUNCH of LinkedIn profile photos. Some good, some bad, some funny, and some scary.

The featured image for this blog post is one that I stumbled across during a LinkedIn training session two weeks ago. It is one of the worst LinkedIn photos I’ve ever seen for a few reasons.

Photo Orientation

First, the obvious… the image is not oriented properly. It needs to be rotated a bit. Believe it or not, the person uploaded this photo and left it this way.

And the reaction in the room was priceless. Just about everyone turned their head sideways to look at this photo. It was like a crowd watching tennis. I laughed out loud.

Which One is Mike?

Second, the image has two people in it. My good friend Ken Bramble told me after this story went live that the person on the right is Arnold Palmer, a famous golfer. (Thanks Ken, didn’t catch that.) The profile was for a guy named Mike and I have no idea which person in the picture is Mike. The good news is that they’re at least smiling.

Zoom is Your Friend

Finally, their faces are too far away. LinkedIn lets you zoom your profile photo in and out. This allows you to see the face of the person more clearly, which is helpful when you are meeting someone for coffee for the first time. I shouldn’t have to squint to make out the details of your face on LinkedIn.

Additional Thoughts

Here’s a quick list of thoughts/suggestions related to your LinkedIn profile photo:

  • No False Advertising. If you look like you are 30 in your photo and you are actually 63 years old, it’s time to update your photo.
  • No Cartoon Characters. Unless you are an Imagination Engineer for Disney, please don’t use a cartoon character.
  • No Glamour Shots. People think you are trying to hard if you have a glamour shot for your profile photo. These are generally staged so that you’re body is facing away from the camera and you’re looking over your shoulder at the camera.
  • No Pets or Other People. If the only good photo you have of yourself is from your wedding, and you have to crop out your wife… leaving part of her hair on your shoulder… it’s time to get a new professional head shot. And unless you are a professional breeder, no pets.
  • Don’t Look Drunk or High. I shouldn’t have to even mention this one, but I’ve seen a few. One was funny, it was a liquor distributor trying to be funny. But it really wasn’t.
  • Don’t Wear a Costume. Unless you wear costumes every day when you are out and about, don’t use a photo of you in a costume for your profile photo.
  • Don’t Show Too Much Skin. This isn’t a dating site, even though I’ve seen people use LinkedIn this way. Ugh.

Did I miss any? Do you agree/disagree with any of these? Thanks for reading!!! I appreciate it so much.

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