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.
Jacob Warwick, CEO of Discover Podium, says the company that launched only a year ago in Reno recently surpassed $1 million in revenue and has big plans for growth in the coming months.