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Social Buzz

Brook Bentley
bbently@nnbw.biz
Screenshot of a LinkedIn profile
NNBW Staff |

This is the first of a new NNBW column featuring tips on using social media to boost business.

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service and thus aims to represent a persons’ business self.

Think: meeting a new contact for work.

One of the first things to occur in an opening meeting is associating a name to a face. So, presenting the best whether it is walking into a physical meeting or a potential business connection via a LinkedIn profile. Both affords the same opportunity of face-to-name association. While in-person interaction allows a person to add conversation to the initial interaction, LinkedIn provides a digital space to showcase a person’s resume and skillset to go with their profile picture.

Get a picture up, that’s easy enough.

Not exactly. Putting some effort into a LinkedIn profile picture is worthwhile for a person’s professional image. Ultimately, LinkedIn serves as the first time meeting a person, so avoiding a disconnect with a profile image is important.

So, what are some things to increase the professionalism of a LinkedIn profile picture?

Be authentic in the picture. It allows others to comprehend the person professionally. If a person who always smiles in real life is stern in their picture, it may cause question in a face-to-face interaction down the road.

Take a real headshot. This shows there was time allotted for a real photo rather than rushing and repurposing an existing image by cropping.

Use a current picture, not one from 20 years ago — maybe not even one from five years ago. LinkedIn and the profile image are intended to represent the present. For example, sharing a resume from 10 years ago doesn’t present a persons’ current self and neither does presenting a picture digitally that does not match reality.

Dress professionally, avoid bringing distractions into the photo, and use an appropriate location. Think: vacation beach selfie versus a simple background looking at the camera.

There are lots of platforms of social media that are intended for different uses and many encourage a person to show their personal life details, if they choose. In the same respect, LinkedIn encourages professional networking and details that flatter career goals.

So, a blank image does not give a person any indicator of who they are trying to network and connect with.

Brook Bentley is the Digital Content Manager for the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.