I’m no recruiter, so don’t take my advice as gospel, but I know things that make me angry. During my few, unsuccessful years on the professional networking website, LinkedIn, I’ve witnessed the do’s and don’ts of profile pictures.
1. Group photos
Group photos are nice. Over social media, they make you look like you actually have a group of friends and a social life to dispel the presumption that you sit on your couch all day eating pizza and watching 13 hours of Gossip Girl. However, on LinkedIn, it’s all about you. The picture of you and your mates taken on a disposable camera at a festival may give you a few likes on Instagram but it won’t give you a career boost. LinkedIn is not like Tinder; you don’t need to set your profile picture as one where you’re standing next to your fitter friend. That’s how you get successful on Tinder – by lying and pretending that you’re the fit friend just to get liked. LinkedIn doesn’t use the same logic. Ugly people can have jobs too.
2. Club photos
Picture this: you’re on a night out at a club with “the squad.” All the lads are wearing crisp, white shirts with a blazer and smart shoes. You look just like you’re about to step into a job interview at a bank, however your eyes have rolled to the back of your head and you’re dribbling from taking pills and drinking too much. A picture of you holding a bottle of Grey Goose should never be published online because doing so makes you look like you have more money than sense. A picture of you may have been taken by a “professional” photographer at a club but you’ve got the Pryzm logo slapped across it. Club photos are also successful in making you look like you have a social life but leave them off your LinkedIn. Please.
3. Instagram photos
I understand that you want to look your absolute best in a picture that is meant to represent what you’re all about. People go to all sorts of measures to ensure this, whether it be hiring a professional photographer, getting the lighting right or just editing the unemployability out of your face. However, applying a preset filter direct from Instagram is the deadliest of all sins. Disgusting! I don’t even Instagram pictures with the default Instagram filters because I know I can do better. There’s not many Instagram filters out there and they’re fairly recognisable. You want the lens flare and hazy, golden mist to look natural and effortless but Instagram can’t help you with that. On Instagram, you post pictures to make your life seem better than it is, whereas on LinkedIn, you should be posting pictures that make you look employable.
4. Passport photos
These mugshots may be professional but you look like a serious killer. Seriously, no one is allowed to smile in those things which is why they don’t translate well on LinkedIn. Passport pictures make you look so bad that you’re worried that customs won’t let you into a country because you look like a criminal. Would you hire someone who looks like a criminal? I know you shouldn’t judge someone based on their appearance but it’s what everyone does. You would hire a genuine criminal, so you probably wouldn’t hire someone who looks like they possibly could be a criminal. You want people to click on your profile picture because you look friendly enough to be given a job, so it’s likely that everyone would recommend that you smile even just a little bit.
5. Mirror photos
Don’t even think about posting a mirror selfie to LinkedIn. You are not 13. This is not Myspace. You have outgrown your scene kid phase. We don’t need to see you head-to-toe. You are not Kim Kardashian. You also need to wipe that smear off your mirror. Self-shot pictures are the worst things invented in the modern day. It isn’t even necessary to explain why one shouldn’t be on your LinkedIn. They simply make you look like a bad person.
Many profile pictures make me angry, but as long as you avoid these five, I will endorse your skills on LinkedIn. Good luck getting a job!