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  • 3 Key Elements of Your LinkedIn Photograph

    Profile Photo image from ShutterstockYour LinkedIn photograph is the first thing that most people notice when they view your profile. It also shows up next to your name and headline when people conduct searches on LinkedIn. It is often the number one factor in whether people click to view your profile.

    What does your LinkedIn photograph say about you?

    What does it say about your personal brand?

    Let’s discuss three key factors of your photograph to consider in establishing your personal brand.

    Framing and clothing

    Consider what you want people to see in your photograph:

    Do you want people to see your whole upper torso or do you want just a headshot? If you want the whole upper torso, the selection of clothing is much more critical. If you are someone who, like myself, does not have taste in colors, find a professional or a friend who can help you select an appropriate outfit.

    You need to understand the physical characteristic of the LinkedIn photograph. The photograph should be square and be a maximum of 4MB in size. If the photograph is not square, you will be given an opportunity to crop the photo.

    What do you want to appear in the photograph? A good example is the photograph in my LinkedIn Profile. The original photograph was taken of me from the waist up and was not square. Therefore, I cropped it to show with as much of the upper torso as possible. I am quite tall, 6’4” and thin. I want you to get a good feeling when you see the picture.

    Another example is the photograph of my friend Scott Ingram. Notice that the photo is a tight shot of Scott’s face. Also, notice the angle—Scott is looking up at the camera. Scott is an expert sales person and wants to appear approachable.

    Another example is my friend Nando Cabán-Méndez. Nando is a creative, and his picture conveys that. Not everyone likes this photo, but it attracts those who he wants as clients. Plus, I can actually recognize Nando when I meet him in person. This is a critical factor in choosing the photograph you use on LinkedIn. Do not over edit your photograph on Photoshop!

    Background

    What background do you want?

    Do you want to appear to be outdoors?

    Do you want to appear to be in a crowd?

    My LinkedIn photograph was taken on a green screen. I actually have three backgrounds that can be interchanged. The background has an easily recognizable bridge in Austin Texas. Most who live in Austin will immediately know this was taken in Austin. Do you want to create a feeling that you are in some location?

    I also have backgrounds of concrete and wood paneling. Be careful that your outfit will need to be compatible with each background.

    Chin line

    The ultimate factor in whether you will look good in your LinkedIn profile photograph is your chin line. You do not want any double chins and wrinkles.

    I know, I know—you are saying, “Really, chin line?” Stay with me on this point.

    Watch the video – It’s all about the Jaw!, which is about 15 minutes in length, to learn from Photographer Peter Hurley, about how to make your chin line look great.

    Use your LinkedIn photograph to put yourself in a position that makes the kind of impression you want to project through your personal brand.

    What are you next steps?

    How do you want to be branded by your photograph?

    Marc MillerCareer Pivot

    Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

    Do not forget to follow me on Twitter or FaceBook

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    Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers published in January 2013, which has been featured on Forbes.com, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Career Pivot was selected for the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at two successful Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.

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    One comment on “3 Key Elements of Your LinkedIn Photograph
    1. avatar
      EXPERT

      Good tips Marc! Thanks for sharing them.

      Having a photo in your LinkedIn profile also increases your “know, like, and trust” factor. (Per Mehrabian study – 55% of non-verbal communication is based on facial liking.) For those concerned about using a photo, here’s a quick post to help you overcome your reservations (tips, stats, and real people):

      http://rockyourcareer.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/you-are-the-face-of-your-brand/

      We can’t all be 6’4″ and thin like Marc! Share your stories.

      – Wendy Terwelp, author, speaker, career coach
      website: http://knocks.com
      blog: http://rockyourcareer.wordpress.com

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