LinkedIn Profile Picture - What Works (And What Doesn't!)

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With two people per second adding themselves to LinkedIn, the professional social media platform is growing at an astounding rate of 300 million users and counting. If that isn't reason enough to get you to spend more time learning how to use LinkedIn effectively, then read this article I posted here last week that will give you 13 intelligent reasons to pay attention to this powerful career tool.

Your Photo Matters (A lot!)

LinkedIn estimates that only 50 percent of users have properly completed their profile. One major mistake is not having a profile picture. It's a must-have. Without it, you don't look legitimate to other professionals. In fact, a study shows people are seven times more likely to click on your profile and check it out if you have a photo.

Epic Fails In Profile Photos

Choosing a photo can be tough. We are very biased and often choose something that really isn't working. For a good laugh and a smart lesson in what NOT to select as your LinkedIn profile photo, check out the video below.

Use Crowdsourcing to Select Your Photo

Once you have a few photos in mind, you should crowdsource the photo for likability. Studies show the more approachable (likable) you look in your photo, the more likely someone is to connect with you. One site that offers a way for you to test the impression you are getting on a photo is Photofeeler--or you can send it out to a bunch of your friends and see what kinds of reactions you get. Either way, it is important to set your pride aside and get some unbiased opinions. Crowdsourcing works!

Remember, "People Hear What They See"

In the words of the actress Doris Day, "people hear what they see." That means that the right photo on LinkedIn can put help a viewer form a positive first impression in their mind. Conversely, the wrong photo can make them decide to skip your connection request.

Don't let the wrong photo hurt your networking and career development on LinkedIn!

P.S. Looking for more help on optimizing your profile on LinkedIn? Check out this free web show, "LinkedIn Labs," which reviews professional profiles to teach you more about the power of LinkedIn.

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