Most employers look at your LinkedIn profile before your resume, so it better be professional. We tapped LinkedIn Career Expert Catherine Fisher for tips on how to take the best picture. And if your strategy is to skip the photo altogether, you should know having one makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by employers. Click through to find out how to get noticed (in a good way) and put yourself on the fast track to the corner office.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Photo: Adam Katz Sinding
You want potential employers to see you, not all the fun stuff that's happening in the background. "Be aware of your surroundings," says Catherine. "Using natural lighting and a white wall as your background are key. Cut the distractions and crop in close so people can instantly recognize your face."
Make sure you consider where you're applying when choosing an ensemble. "Choose clothing appropriate to the industry you want to work in," says Catherine. "If you're applying for a job in the fashion industry you can skew slightly trendy with your outfit, but for a position in the financial sector you should wear a suit."
Keep in mind that while a selfie might get you likes on Instagram, it's not a good option for a professional setting. "You can get a great photo with your phone by simply enlisting a friend to help or propping up the phone and setting a timer," says Catherine.
Always show your potential employer what you look like and what you can bring to the table. "You should have a great photo of yourself on your profile and upload examples of your work separately," says Catherine. "If you're a special-effects makeup artist, having a photo of a character would be misleading. Your profile photo should be approachable and show who you are as person."
This is your opportunity to put your best foot forward. "What people need to remember is that context matters, and this is a professional site," says Catherine. "You are representing yourself as a brand so you should not have pictures from your beach vacation or hanging out with friends. The people looking at your profile are your potential partners, employers or employees so you want to make sure everything you post enhances your professional—not personal—life."