LinkedIn, like any other social media channel, is a social networking platform. This means that people are networking with each other while revealing who they are and what they do. LinkedIn reminds you to do this when you log in by making sure your profile is 100% complete. Part of getting to 100% completion is uploading your picture, and here’s all that you need to know about why you should upload your photograph, sizing tips for a successful upload, and what could happen to your photograph if you’re not careful.
That’s right: Your profile photograph could be forcibly removed. Read on for more details.
LinkedIn Photo Advice #1 – Why Upload a Photo?
There you used to be some debate as to whether or not you should include your photo in your LinkedIn profile. The advice by some then was that including your photograph could mean that a company might not want to hire you because the fact that they saw what you actually looked like could be used against them in a discriminatory lawsuit. Everyone who commented on that blog post I link to above said there was absolutely no truth behind that argument, and I have even heard from some employment lawyers that many of their clients pass the task of sourcing talent to an impartial 3rd party, within or outside of their organization, so that there are no potential issues here.
Regardless of the above argument, there are many fundamental reasons why you want to upload a photo to your profile if you haven’t done so already:
- There are fake profiles on LinkedIn. A photograph shows that you are for real, and it helps establish your social media credibility.
- Why would you be on a social networking site and not display who you are? What are you afraid of? Not having a photograph means people may have a suspicious view of your profile. In fact, I list this as the 1st thing in my 10 LinkedIn Profile Mistakes You Want to Avoid post.
- A photo will help bring your LinkedIn profile to 100% completeness.
- For your personal branding, a photograph is essential. And as they say, first impressions mean everything, and often our first impression is a visual one.
LinkedIn Photo Advice #2 – What are LinkedIn’s Photograph Requirements?
This information actually comes straight from the source at Customer Support in Mountain View when I had problems uploading a photograph myself. Here are the requirements to pay particular attention to:
1. The file type is a JPG, PNG or GIF.
2. The file size is no larger than 4MB.
3. The pixel size is at least 80×80 and no larger than 4000×4000.
If you still have trouble uploading a picture, additional advice indicated trying to use a different browser than what you normally use.
LinkedIn Photo Advice #3 – Why Was My Photograph Removed?
My recent blog post on why your LinkedIn account may be suspended has been getting a lot of view as well as comments from those who suddenly found that they were locked out of their accounts for no reason. Imagine one day you noticed that your LinkedIn profile was naked, i.e. your profile picture was missing! I’ve never heard of this happening in Twitter or Facebook, but it does happen on LinkedIn.
First things first: I already mentioned why you don’t want to have a company logo or an irrelevant picture for your profile, so if you are still not using a personal photo, you may want to reconsider your strategy in light of the fact that your photo could be removed and your profile potentially “flagged” by LinkedIn. Otherwise, you may be asking for trouble.
The next thing that is worth mentioning is that anyone can go to a profile and, regardless of your connection status, and report to the “LI Authorities” that a photograph is either an advertisement (i.e. company logo), copyrighted material, inappropriate content, a misrepresentation, or “other.” This is probably the mechanism that alerts LinkedIn to “suspicious” photos.
It is worth noting that LinkedIn has a clear Photo Policy in its User Agreement:
LinkedIn provides the opportunity for users to upload a photograph to assist other members in recognizing that person. As a professional networking site, there are guidelines to determine which types of photos are appropriate. We consider a photo appropriate as long as it does not contain content that is copyrighted or unauthorized for public distribution and does not contain offensive content. Additionally, if your photo is not an image of yourself or does not contain an actual photograph, it is considered inappropriate. Your photo has been flagged for inappropriate elements and has been removed from your profile.
Normal users should not have any fear about the photographs that you use, but there are some people who like to use effects, like those you find on the Photo Booth application on a Mac or any picture-editing software, to make a statement about their personal brand. You see many of these types of profile pictures on other social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn, however, is holding rigid to its policy of “professional photos.” Even a gentleman who had an “Obamacon” of himself, the same profile picture that is on his Twitter page, recently had his photograph removed. I believe that the photograph definitely helps “to assist other members in recognizing that person” as pointed out in LinkedIn’s Photo Policy. Is it that disturbing that the picture had to be removed?
What do you think?
For more tips and advice on profile photos on LinkedIn, check out this infographic from Sales For Life.