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Does your image represent you?

By Fiona Fenwick

I’ve just had a little trawl through my LinkedIn connections. This time I was only looking at the photographs. These photos are consciously placed there by the LinkedIn member so each person has chosen that particular image to represent them.

Bearing in mind that LinkedIn is about managing your business profile and professional identity on-line (and will appear in all google searches of your name), some of the images were surprising to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating airbrushing your image within an inch of its life. And I fully appreciate that we all live with the hand we have been dealt, but what some consider to be appropriate makes me think they have not really thought about their audience or what immediate impression they’re making.

I’m talking glamour shots – best kept to the private collection – cut out wedding pictures, grainy scanned holiday pics and patently obvious 20-year-old photos, amongst many others. Complete mis-matches with what the person wants to convey when you read their profile.

Then there are the profiles without photos. This makes me think that maybe the technology was just proving a little too tricky or they are not really interested in being on LinkedIn in the first place or they just plain haven’t thought about it. I could be wrong but that’s the impression.

We all form immediate impressions when we meet someone. These views can be changed after talking, engaging and learning more about each other but a photo creates an immediate impression that lasts. We each decide how we want to be perceived.

Does your LinkedIn image deliver?

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