Woman’s hands, holding a mug with ‘like a boss’ written on it in handwriting script

Image Power for Professionals: How to be all over LinkedIn like a boss

LinkedIn is the social network for professionals and the place to be if you’re looking to network, raise your professional profile or look for the latest career opportunities. It’s a great place to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry.

Like all social networks, LinkedIn is about people sharing and connecting, so naturally the images we show our colleagues and professional peers should position us in our very best light and quickly tell the story of who we are and what we represent. Henk Ritmeester, a Senior Relationship Manager at LinkedIn kindly shares some excellent tips for how to show your best self and to get people engaged with your posts, which is what you really want.

You don’t have to be perfect – but be authentic

Having a profile photo will get you a lot more views, but it can be hard to decide what kind of photo you want to put on your business profile. You’ll have no doubt seen some really slick, professional headshots, but not everyone has access to a photographer and that’s completely fine. Your profile picture doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to represent the working you. Here’s where to start:

Choose a profile photo

You want people to be able to recognize you from your LinkedIn picture, so make sure it’s up to date. Eliminate any where you’re involved in a non-workday activity (skiing, at a party, in the gym, that cute selfie with your best friend) and discard any where your face is even slightly obscured (holding something up, giving the thumbs up). You can tweak it using the tools in LinkedIn to make it really shine – crop it so that you’re focusing on your face, try adjusting the contrast and brightness and don’t be embarrassed to pick a filter that flatters.

Or take your own

If you decide to take a selfie or ask a friend to help, there are plenty of things you can do to get the best result.

Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame. Crop the picture from the top of your shoulder to just above your head so that your face fills the frame.

Choose the right expression. You want to appear warm and friendly. Are you naturally a smiler? Then beam away! It’s all about being approachable and showing people who you really are. Don’t forget to smile with your eyes.

Wear what you’d wear to work. If you don’t wear a suit to work, then don't wear one in your profile picture. Wear clothes that match the level of dressiness at your office and bear in mind that solid colours tend to look best on camera.

Choose a background that isn’t distracting. You want to be the focal point of your picture, so keep the background simple.

Close-up on a man’s suited upper body as he straightens his tie
If you don’t wear a suit to work, then don't wear one in your profile picture.

Profile Backgrounds

On your profile page, there is a banner or background image behind your picture. It’s set to a blue strip by default, but it can be used really effectively to tell your story. Perhaps you want to show your company logo? Or the products you sell. If you’re a public speaker, you could use a shot of you at the podium or on stage. If you’re proud of your team, then perhaps a group shot – just remember to ask their permission first.

SIZE TIP: To get the most out of your background, make sure that the image (a JPG, GIF or PNG) is 1584 pixels wide by 396 pixels high and under 8MB in file size. Don’t be put off by its shape – there are plenty of downloadable apps, such as Canva that can help you to tweak your chosen image.

Updates & Articles

Updates with photos and videos get more engagement and shares – but keep the images you use professional and relevant. Using images that you own or have taken will give you an authentic edge and keep you on the right side of copyright law. Do make sure that if you’re sharing photos of your team that they are happy for you to do so.

The beauty of LinkedIn is that you can post a short, snappy update or share your thoughts in a longer article post, that you can format like a blog post. When you’re writing an article, images are a great way to illustrate a point you're making and break up long blocks of text – try keeping to a ratio of one picture per every 350 words.

SIZE TIP: The size limit for a photo upload is 5MB and to make sure it presents well, try to keep it to around 552 pixels wide by 276 pixels high.

Excited to start optimising your LinkedIn profile? Head to LinkedIn Help, where you’ll find comprehensive guides to having a great profile and growing your network.

Written by Michelle Janse van Vuuren & Iza Daly

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