Imagine showing up at a business luncheon in an ill-fitting crop-top and/or a cut-off muscle tee. Embarrassed? You should be. And the same goes for your LinkedIn Profile picture. I know this is a soap box for me, but I’m serious, people – Inappropriate LinkedIn Profile pictures have got to go.
Now, I’d be lying if I said I’m not entertained by the occasional “jaw-droppingly” inappropriate Profile picture (stay tuned for future examples), but I also feel concerned for the person who took the time to build a LinkedIn Profile, presumably to build more business or career success, only to then insert a picture that makes them look ridiculous and guarantees they won’t be contacted for business opportunities through LinkedIn.
However, in my quest for the Holy Grail of inappropriate LinkedIn Profile pictures, I’ve stumbled upon an interesting phenomenon: unique profile pictures that actually build the person’s Personal Brand.
Here are a few examples:
1. Disarmingly Disciplined:
One of my LinkedIn Connections, Gary Walton, a Business Consultant was a UCLA football player (actual LinkedIn Profile picture shown above). While his Profile picture is not traditional, it works well for him because it shows he is disciplined, well-rounded, active, and socially involved. It also doesn’t hurt him with the Bruin Alumni he networks with! And since he is a Business/Sales Consultant, I’d say his picture fits in well with the professional image he wants to portray.
2. Exceptionally Successful:
I recently connected to a gentleman whose LinkedIn Profile picture is a photo of himself holding two Oscars. Obviously, this photo is unique – not many people have been awarded two Oscars. This photo effectively portrays him as highly successful, driven, and well-respected. I don’t know about you, but when I saw this picture, I immediately wanted to be connected with him.
3. Distinctively Driven:
Finally, another clever LinkedIn Connection of mine owns a Graphic Design business. Her profile picture is a tasteful photograph of her posing next to her business logo (which she created). This picture highlights her graphic design skills, draws attention to her brand, and demonstrates her obvious passion for both her company and field.
I’ve given you some examples of hows you can stand out in the crowd, but be very careful with this. Make sure you:
- Have a professional photographer compose and take the picture
- Carefully design the picture so that it will generate the Personal Brand you want to create
- Keep the image of you large enough so that your Profile Reviewer can still see what you look like
It’s better to have a professional-looking head-shot than turn people off with a failed stab at creativity!