We’ve written often on this blog about brand importance and how first impressions, consistency and the words you use to describe your company all count. Today I have been struck by how all of these principles seem to go out of the window when it comes to profile photographs and avatars!
This morning I went to a networking event so I have just spent some time on LinkedIn inviting the people I met earlier to link in with me. Whilst on the site I had a browse through the “People you might know page” and was struck by how truly dreadful many of the profile pictures are!
The images I viewed included:
Blurred images – is that the best you can come up with?
A sideways photo – OK if you like to look at someone with your head to one side but generally I prefer to look at my screen head on
Pouting selfies – best saved for your friends on Facebook
Logos – does your face really look that bad?
Images from the pub – no comment
Wedding photographs – do you wear your tiara to the office?
And worse of all, no picture at all!
I’m not suggesting that everyone should have a dry, corporate portrait photograph against their profile. Your image has to reflect a little bit of your personality, who you are and what job you do. However, LinkedIn is a professional networking site so your profile image is extremely important. If you are purporting to provide a professional service than your profile photograph should reflect this.
People form an instant opinion of you when they see your LinkedIn photograph. If you don’t want them to get the wrong impression my advice is to invest in a professional photographer.