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LinkedIn – The importance of a photo

If you want to take your networking and job hunting to the next level, why not consider LinkedIn, a great place to meet employers and find new opportunities. Remember when you start building your profile that you add a professional photo of yourself. Many people leave their profile photos blank in the fear of being judged or just because they don’t see the importance of it – don’t make that mistake.

Showing a picture of yourself on your profile draws more engagement and views, according to LinkedIn. When people see a face, they find it easier to connect. Profiles with no photos give off a sense of mystery. Within the world of work, networking is really important, many people find jobs or new employees via networking.

Choosing an image..

Pick a photo that you are comfortable with and one that you are happy to share. You can get feedback on your photograph. However, be mindful it might not tick everybody’s boxes and that’s okay. The most important thing is that you are comfortable with the fact that it portrays you in a way that you want to be portrayed and shows you in a positive light.

Remember to choose a photograph that showcases your personality, in the light that you want people to see you, to think about you. What do you want to tell people about yourself? What image do you want to portray? You may have identified that you want people to see you in a certain way – maybe you are passionate, professional, friendly, approachable, creative or intelligent. Whatever your words are your photograph needs to showcase it.

Your photo is your first impression, so you want to ensure the background and the clothing you are wearing reflects a professional image. Do not wear anything that you wouldn’t wear to the place of work – so no wedding dresses, no casual clothes, no beach shots with your shorts and sunglasses on! If you have recently graduated, however, tempted you may be able to include your graduation photo, don’t. You are much more than a graduate! We need to be able to visualise you in the place of work; LinkedIn is a professional networking site.

You are allowed to show yourself “doing” working in the profession you are currently in. Choose photograph’s that show you working. People often have photographs of them doing speeches or presenting but definitely doing the thing they enjoy doing, for example, if you are a hairdressing student, you could use a picture of you doing a clients hair. An employer may see your photo and can instantly visualise you working for them. Be creative, stay true to yourself and always think about your audience. Here are some ways that can make your profile picture stand out;

  • You can edit your background photo, this simple yet effective. LinkedIn has many designs that you can use, but you can also use others, customise them for your use.
  • Make sure that you update your contact information with an appropriate email address, your website, and links to any published blogs you publish (you can use URLs from LinkedIn). Also, put links to social media such as can your Twitter address, you might also have videos on YouTube you can upload these to LinkedIn. Give people the opportunity to contact you and discover more about who you are and give them a range of resources to use.
  • Finally, use your LinkedIn URL on your CV and on your application form and even at the bottom of your email footer. This will allow individuals to probe deeper once they have read your CV. This is so easy to do but so many people don’t do it. Consider using this as a default text given by LinkedIn. All you need to do is click on the little icon next to the name then select update personal profile, go to the top left-hand corner and edit the default URL given by LinkedIn – it is that easy.

If you would like to discuss how to network using LinkedIn for yourself to enhance your employability, you can see a Careers Advisor at the college who can advise you. Good luck!

By Sarfraz Ahmed

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