LinkedIn is NOT Facebook!

As you might have noticed when browsing through LinkedIn a lot of people use snapshots taken from their last holidays’ image roll. This might be an adequate thing to do if you upload images to Facebook or any other family-friend-personal-whatever social network. However, your profile on LinkedIn is there to support your business, not to entertain friends and family or to find a partner.

The Famous First Impression

When someone looks at your LinkedIn profile, the first thing they see is your personal (business) portrait. And as we are all humans, the first impression is always, always, always the most impressive and most important one. Once you have subconsciously been “evaluated” by someone, revising this impression requires a little effort.

Your Intention

Presumingly your intention on LinkedIn is to find and nurture valuable business connections. So try to convey as much professionalism, trustworthiness and expertness as possible. Nothing more, nothing less.

Visual Professionalism & Expertness

Now, let’s look at an example: one of the reasons we wear business clothing at work is to reduce the individual personality to an adequate level and complement it by a larger portion of professionalism. This is a difficult balance at times as we all want to keep our personality to be part of our life and in our business relations, too. But finding the right balance between personality and neutral professionalism is an important part of creating business relationships. A potential client or business partner should always be engaged with a less personal and a more professional approach, as his and your intentions are based on business, not on a personal relationship. Whether a business relationship moves further towards a personal one and intensifies over time, is a different thing. So the exact same thing applies to your (visual) appearance. Your images must express a balance between personality and professionalism.

Personality vs. Professionality in Business

Present yourself in a less personal and more professional manner and with the right professional mindset. I would go as far as to say: your image is the most important part of your LinkedIn profile for any successful first-time contact as it consciously and subconsciously transmits so many things, and it certainly creates that so important first impression of you.

The Rule

The rule is simple. On your profile image present yourself in the same way you would, if you turned up in front of your business partner or an important client. This can be anything from strictly business dressed to something more casual. However, be consistent. If you wear a suit or a business dress at work, wear it on your LinkedIn profile image. Your LinkedIn profile is your CV and your business card. It is a professional business representation of yourself. Nothing more, nothing less.