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The Importance of Having a Professional LinkedIn Picture

The difference between LinkedIn and Facebook is obvious – one is for your social life and one is for your professional life. That being said, take a look at your LinkedIn profile picture – is it professional or social?

Does your photo capture your professional side? Does it do justice to your great accomplishments you’ve achieved in your career?

When you consider what is professional these days, the list is long. Here are a few things not to do:

  1. Don’t use your wedding picture. Men especially think this is okay because they’re wearing a tux.
  2. Don’t use a picture where it’s obvious that you ‘cut’ other people out. Sometimes those lingering body ‘pieces’ are enough to yell – unprofessional
  3. Don’t use a picture where there is too much going on in the background such as a bar, restaurant, concert, etc.
  4. Don’t use a picture that makes your face barely fit in the small square you have to work with.
  5. Smile. The last thing you want is to look like an axe murderer.

When updating your picture you can be a little creative. Consider taking a picture outside capturing a natural element, or with a brick wall behind you as the backdrop. Make sure you are wearing appropriate attire. You do not have to wear a suit (unless in your line of work/position this makes sense). If you are in a more creative industry, feel free to be a little more contemporary. Add a pop of color or play with negative space.

At the end of the day you want to show that you are professional and friendly. 

Kerry Gustafson, a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) founded Simply Great Resumes in July of 2012 and has over 9 years’ experience writing professional resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, and LinkedIn profiles. With a working background in Marketing, IT, and Project Management from Fortune 100 to small business, Kerry brings a strong working knowledge and unique perspective to the industry. Skilled at narrowing in on client’s roles and responsibilities, Kerry has a natural ability to change the dreaded resume creation into a fun and awareness-building experience.

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