What does your LinkedIn profile photo say about you?

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The following table investigates what you are telling a potential employer by using a specific style of profile photo. I’m taking the role of an employer here, so these are my own opinions, and my own photos. However, you may not realise that this information is what you are giving away!

Sample photoPhoto descriptionEmployer’s interpretation
Head and shoulders view with a smile, and wearing professional working clothesProfessional, serious, but approachable.
Head and shoulders view with a serious face, and wearing professional working clothesProfessional, serious, and may not welcome human contact.
Full length view wearing professional working clothesProfessional, but might not welcome close scrutiny.
Wearing casual clothesUnprofessional.
Wearing sports kitTeam player, but not necessarily at work.
In vacation settingRelaxed and has a life away from work.
In front of company posterMay have been forced to publicise their employer’s or some other company’s name.
No photoWishes to hide real identity from someone, or can’t be bothered to find a photo. Interestingly, using #opentowork without a photo shows a corrupted profile image on desktop web page!
Company logoWishes to hide real identity from someone behind a company facade, which may not even be their own.
Random non-personal photo, e.g. artwork, children, stock image, cartoon etc.Wishes to hide real identity from someone, and also is not at all serious about business connections.
Group photoMay want to show they are family oriented, team players, or just prefer to hide in a crowd.
Image of single initial of First NameWishes to hide their face from someone, but not their identity.
Blank single colour photoWishes to hide real identity from someone, but has got around the bug in #opentowork without a photo, which, at least, shows some understanding of LinkedIn.
Background has contrasting colour Wants to be noticed.
Background is busy and multi-coloured, which makes them difficult to see in a smaller imageWants to hide from someone, lacks self-confidence, or doesn’t understand how to compose a profile photo for LinkedIn.
Image at an obvious angle, or even upside-downTrying too hard to get your attention.
In image, but facing away from the cameraWishes to hide real identity from someone, or lacks self-confidence.

I’ll leave you to decide which profile photo I prefer, but which have you got on your LinkedIn profile?

Book Promotion Photo Gallery

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June 2018: Congratulations to Igor Khorlo who won my new book in the Prize Draw at SAS Forum UK in Birmingham

April 2018: Congratulations to Chris Smith who won my new book in the Prize Draw at the SUGUKI meeting in London

September 2017: Congratulations to Peter Lowes who won my new book in the Prize Draw at SAS Forum UK in Birmingham

April 2017: Congratulations to Matthew Hoolsema who won my new book in the Prize Draw at SAS Global Forum in Orlando

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October 2016: Congratulations to Cathal Gallagher who won my new book in the Prize Draw at the PhUSE Conference in Barcelona

Congratulations to Charlotte King who won my new book in the Prize Draw at the SAS Forum UK in Birmingham
September 2016: Congratulations to Charlotte King who won my new book in the Prize Draw at the SAS Forum UK in Birmingham

Congratulations to Olivier Goethals who won my new book in the Prize Draw at SAS Global Forum in Las Vegas
April 2016: Congratulations to Olivier Goethals who won my new book in the Prize Draw at SAS Global Forum in Las Vegas

Congratulations to Angelo Tinazzi who won my new book in the Prize Draw at PhUSE in Vienna
October 2015: Congratulations to Angelo Tinazzi, who won my new book in the Prize Draw at the PhUSE Conference in Vienna. Thanks go to Ian Marlow from the CK Group for running the competition.

Happiness: my new book, a beer and my advertising shirt at the book launch in Cambridge
September 2015: Happiness = my new book, a beer and my advertising shirt at the book launch in Cambridge