Your LinkedIn photo is one of the first things that seasoned LinkedIn users look for when they search your profile.
- To see if that is you when they invite you to connect
- To recognize you when meeting face-to-face for the first time
- To check out how serious you are about yourself (I am not sure if this is a valid reason, but it could be)
When I coach people or teach LinkedIn classes, I discuss the benefits of having a professional image attached to their profile. That image should be used across all of the professional platforms you are using. It is one of my top 5 tips that I have written about previously.
Your profile image does not have to be a professionally taken image, but don’t fall victim to thinking that something cute will suffice. This image is one of those things that you should definitely NOT DO. Can you tell me why? Your image represents how you want to represent your personal brand. In many cases, it will represent your business as well.
Unless you are a pediatrician or day care provider, no kids. Unless you are a veterinarian or animal shelter, no pets. Unless you are realty team, no spouses, and that is iffy.
In my opinion, people want to see your face, smiling with limited props. It gives them a good feeling about how your business relationship might proceed.