LinkedIn Profiles

3 Tips for Choosing the Right LinkedIn Profile Picture

LinkedIn is so widely used that it has essentially become necessary to join if you want  to connect with IT recruiting companies and search for new IT jobs.  If you’re not on LinkedIn, it will be much harder for IT staffing companies and potential employers to find you.   (It also might suggest you don’t really embrace technology, which would obviously be a problem for IT professionals.)  While there are plenty of LinkedIn tips for creating your profile,  it’s also important to make sure your LinkedIn picture is done well.  Here are some tips to taking a LinkedIn profile picture that will attract IT recruiters and potential employers.

Make sure the picture is clearly of you. IT staffing firms suggest you avoid using pictures of you and your family, friends, etc.  Just use a picture that shows you.  Your LinkedIn profile is meant to showcase your professional achievements and experience.  Social pictures with your family or friends aren’t really relevant to this goal.  Technical recruiters find that these kinds of pictures may even detract from the professionalism of your profile to certain, more conservative, employers.

Pick a picture where you’re dressed professionally. You don’t have to be in a full suit, but take a picture where you’re at least dressed in business casual clothing.  Even if your goal is to work in a start-up environment where people wear a t-shirt and jeans to work,  use a picture of you wearing at least business casual clothing.  Think of a LinkedIn picture as similar to how you present yourself at a job interview.  Your IT recruiting firms will always tell you to go to a job interview wearing at least business casual clothing, if not a suit.  You should do the same in your LinkedIn profile picture.

Pay attention to what kind of picture it is. Don’t use an artsy shot or a full body shot.  Aim for something that’s closer to a headshot. Again, think of your LinkedIn picture as similar to the impression you give in a job interview.  Taking a picture from far away, at an odd angle, or with a special filter doesn’t help you present yourself in a straight-forward, professional way.


Taking a good LinkedIn photo might just help land you a great IT job. Photo credit: Jarmoluk via Pixabay.


Better LinkedIn Profile Picture, Better IT Job Search

LinkedIn has become so important in the hunt for IT jobs that now many IT recruiters find candidates there, rather than other sites.  While the format of a LinkedIn profile certainly differs from a resume, the picture may be the most obvious difference.  Here are some tips on how to use your Linked profile picture to make your profile more attractive to IT recruiting firms and hiring managers.

Firstly, don’t skip the picture.  Even if you don’t love taking pictures, it’s best to use a picture here.  IT staffing firms will be more likely to check out a profile with a picture than one without.

Secondly, make sure your picture is a good representation of you as a professional.  This means a couple things, starting with the fact that the picture will ideally be of just you.  Keep out family members, pets, etc.  IT staffing companies are trying to figure out if you are right for the job (not your wife, kids, friends, etc).  Don’t distract technical recruiters with other people or animals.  Or worse, don’t make it hard for them to figure out which person in the picture is you!  Making the picture a good representation of you as an IT professional also means a few things about the way you look.   IT recruiting agencies want to see you in at least somewhat professional clothing.  Even if you go to work in jeans and a T-shirt (as many IT professionals do!) it’s better to go with at least business casual clothing for your picture.  This makes it easier for IT recruiting companies to picture you in various company environments.

The last, and possibly most important, tip to make your profile picture more attractive to IT staffing agencies is to smile in a natural way.  Many, many IT jobs don’t just require you to be able to do the work.  You usually need to be able to work well within a team, with managers, or even in a customer service capacity or with end users.  When you smile in a friendly, unforced way, you can project that you’ve got good communication skills and are easy to work with.  Looking serious or grumpy in your picture will likely make IT recruiters think twice about contacting you!

LinkedInProfile Pictures IT Job Search
Using a vacation picture for your LinkedIn photo won’t help your IT job search. Photo credit: SplitShire via Pixabay.


Delete These 2 Words from Your LinkedIn Profile and IT Resumes

One strong tactic you can use is to polish up your LinkedIn profile and resume is deleting words that will turn off technical recruiters and potential employers.  Here are two words that won’t attract IT recruiters or hiring managers if you have them in your LinkedIn profile or resume – particularly in a summary or objective section.

  1. Don’t waste space in your summary or your taglines on LinkedIn with the word ‘motivated.’ Because it’s been so overused, it doesn’t mean much to IT staffing firms or interviewers.  What really carries weight with IT recruiting companies and hiring managers are demonstrations of your motivation.  Did you move up the ranks in a help desk department at a previous employer?  Did you volunteer for some extra projects at your last IT jobs? Listing actions and results like this on your profile is a much better use of space!
  2. In the same vein, you won’t be impressing any IT staffing agencies or potential employers by calling yourself ‘driven’ on your LinkedIn profile or resume. Again, the word is far too over-used to be effective.  It’s also not interesting to IT recruiting firms when you call yourself driven.  If you had a reference call you driven, it would carry far more weight.  However, since it’s a quality that’s hard to define, it’s important to consider that your opinion can’t really count here. You are, of course, biased about your own employability.  When you pronounce yourself driven on your LinkedIn profile or IT resume, you’re really just stating something that IT recruiting agencies already know: you think you’d be an asset as an employee.  Use the space on your LinkedIn profile or IT resume to tell them something they don’t know.  What’s your technical background?  What projects have you led?  What have you achieved in your career?  This is the kind of information that IT staffing companies want to see—not that you think that you are driven.


Don’t leave ‘motivated’ on your IT resume! Photo credit: gustavofer74 via Pixabay.