Some people may scoff at the thought of needing a LinkedIn profile in order to get a job, and they might be right. It is not a need, but it would definitely be an aid in getting a good job.
Having a great LinkedIn profile, complete with recommendations and job history, would tell a future employer a lot about how an applicant takes his career seriously. The key here is completing the profile and adding every frill that you can add, including a picture.
Yes, you read it right. It would be a great idea to add a photograph to your profile. However, you cannot just leaf through your photo album and scan a snapshot from there, or browse through your Facebook profile. You will need to get a great photograph. Below are some of the common options that people have, and the suggestions as to which option to take:
Empty or not:
A lot of people say that their accomplishments will speak for them, and that is true to a certain degree. However, that is not the complete picture of an applicant, and most jobs come with the responsibility of giving presentations and sales pitches. If you cannot show that you are capable of doing such a thing through a picture, then an employer would contact someone who would have more confidence in that area, which would most likely mean someone with a picture in place.
A photo of a photo, or an entirely new one:
We all have really good pictures in store. Either a graduation picture or a picture at an equally important event. Not all of them are digitally captured though, and some may have the bright idea of taking a digital photo of these pictures and uploading them. Unfortunately, that would come out as pixelated or blurred, and that would not be, in any way, a good representation of you. Take your time to come up with a good photograph. Hire a professional if you need to. Just make sure that the photo itself is impressive.
Black and white or color:
It is true that some photographs are really good when they are in black and white. However, you need to remember that your picture has to be a good representation of you, and it has to be as accurate as possible so that your future employer would see what he needs to see in order to hire you. It may be your preference to get a black and white picture, but it would always be the recommendation to go for a fully colored picture with a neutral background so that your features would stand out.
Formal or informal:
This is a business website, and your profile will get around, especially if you have a good job and people are interested in your services. A picture of you at a party may show that you are lively and could get along with anyone, but a bottle of alcohol in your hand or a pet at your side would not show your professional side. Reserve the party pictures for your Facebook page, and put a formal picture in the forefront of your LinkedIn profile to show that you are serious about your business.
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LinkedIn is not your regular social network. This is a business that has made a business out of keeping other businesses well connected. Most, if not all, of the fortune 500 company CEOs have LinkedIn profiles, and you would not want them looking at a profile of yours that is half-baked. Put the right picture in, along with the right documents, and you could land a life-changing job.