A Stellar LinkedIn Profile Part 1 — The Profile Picture






In every selling situation you have 3 different options:

1.)  Be inferior to everyone else.

2.)  Be just like everyone else.

3.)  Blow everyone else out of the water.

Which option do you prefer?

If you want to be an option 3 kind of person, you’re going to enjoy this 3 part series on building a stellar LinkedIn profile.

The workforce is changing.  More and more millenials are moving into decision-making positions and they have expectations that must be met if you intend to make the sale.

If buyers can’t see that you have a grasp of current technologies and trends that they deem table stakes…how can they be sure you’ll effectively handle important things like the complex order they’re thinking of giving you?

Ignore emerging technologies at your peril.  The only constant is change.

So why should this matter to you?

LinkedIn is the largest business social network on Earth.  A new member joins every 2 seconds.  Technology is marching forward whether we like it or not.  LinkedIn is here to stay.

Everything on your profile is a choice you make that says something about you.  What does your profile picture say about you?  Some people don’t even have a profile picture…or even a profile for that matter.

The profile picture is the “first impression” of the profile.  Let’s make yours a good one.

When it comes to profile pictures, most people tend to go with the standard “mid torso up” head shot.  This is a very safe, professional bet.  A lot of the aspects of your profile will be dependent on the industry and company you work in.  If you work in a fairly conservative environment, then this is a great choice.  Make sure you’re professionally dressed and smiling.

The middle of your chest up is great:

Perfect 3 Perfect 2


Cropping yourself from the neck up is not:

Extreme Closeup 2

Extreme Closeup 1

Standing 15 feet away from the camera is also a bad idea.  If you’re going with a shot including your face….we need to see your face!

Nice cars?

 Use a distraction free background:

Distracting Background 1 Distracting Background 2

A non traditional profile picture can work as well.  There is a guy at my company that is a graphic artist.  His profile picture is a clever little cartoon version of himself.   That works.

Creative 1

Another friend of mine uses a photography type of scheme that I can’t even name…but based on his job title and duties, it just works.  In fact, both of these show technical skill.

Creative 2

I’ve chosen to use a picture of a particularly epic half windsor knot:


A headshot profile picture isn’t critical in my position, so this works for me.  Call me crazy, but I think it stands out a little more from the sea of faces in a “people you may know” list.

Here is a litmus test: Look at your current photo. Is there anything “off” about it?  If you’re not sure, ask a friend, ask 2 or 3 coworkers if you can trust them for honest feedback, or just ask me!   I’ll give it to you straight ;p

What really matters is that the photo makes sense and doesn’t discredit you in some way.    I’ve seen that happen far too often.

Here are a few things to avoid:

1.)  The Driver Seat Selfie: I don’t know if people can’t get to a blank wall, or if they just think their car looks this great, but unless you’re a chauffeur, it’s an odd location to take a profile picture.  Somehow it has become an epidemic.

Driver Seat Selfie 6 Driver Seat Selfie 5

Driver Seat Selfie 2 Driver Seat Selfie 3Driver Seat Selfie 4

2.) The “couldn’t locate the sun and/or a flash” guy:

Too Dark

Too Dark 2

3.) The “can’t upload the proper resolution image” guy (makes me wonder if you have a solid handle on other technological things?)

Too Small 1 Too Small 2There are several more strange categories of pictures: “The cropper”, “The too many people in one profile photo,” and who can forget the plain and simple “What in the world were they thinking.”

Your profile picture is the first thing people see, so make sure you have one, and make sure its good!

There’s nothing wrong with getting creative with your picture…just make sure it doesn’t discredit you…and make sure your face is in the photo!  I got you covered LinkedIn 🙂

So there you have it.   A basic roadmap for profile picture success!

Any questions?  Need help with your LinkedIn profile?

If so, you can email me at dklawer@ernestpkg.com or reach out to me on…where else…LinkedIn.

Later this week, we’ll polish up the summary and personal experience sections of your profile.

Good selling!

EDIT: I received an email from LinkedIn today informing me that my profile picture had been removed because it violated their photo policy.  Apparently, not having your “face or likeness” showing can be grounds for removal.  So, its ok with them to not have a profile picture…but a picture of a tie? Heresy!

I was also notified if they remove your photo 3 times, they will remove your ability to even HAVE a profile picture.   Fascinating that this happened the day I posted this…

Oh well.  I still love you LinkedIn and I am happy to play your game.  

Now to find a suitable photo.  

Maybe this?


Of course not 🙂

Next up: Part 2 in Building a Stellar LinkedIn Profile


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.