One of our Client Strategists has been asking me to blog about LinkedIn profile pictures. And if you run a search in Google, you will see that it is a really popular topic indeed. I have been hesitant to write about it because it seems almost condescending to educate other professionals on what constitutes an appropriate image, suitable for their professional profile. Yet, if there is one thing I have learned after almost a decade in recruitment, it is that basic common sense is a not so easy to find commodity. Even though the sense of judgment required for picture selection is certainly minimal.

Now granted, there are no uniform rules as to what a LinkedIn image should be. Some professionals choose artistic pictures – black and white or sepia, yet others opt for really creative animation. Depending on your line of work, there is definitely room to push the boundaries without losing face, and there is no need to be overly stringent or conservative.

That being said, I cannot help but feel puzzled when I come across the LinkedIn profile of a mature in age department supervisor sticking her tongue out. Or how about an HR coordinator posing in front of a bed? A middle-aged accounting professional jumping out of a car in a wedding gown? A recruiter blowing a kiss into the camera? People posing with their friends, kids, pets…  Peace signs, cheering with beer bottles, provocative poses… LinkedIn has certainly got it all.

Social media is still a fairly new playground for all of us, but I think the distinction between professional and personal social media sites has become fairly evident. The rule of thumb is pretty basic really – if you would not include a picture on your CV, don’t choose it for your LinkedIn profile. Then again, if résumé pictures were in vogue, who knows what gems we would see?
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