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?

Have You Forgotten Your Password?

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The registration page on my blog site encourages new members to create at least a “Medium” strength password. This is good for the security of their personal information, but not so good if they follow the general security advice by not writing that password on a sticky note and attaching it to their computer screen or tablet. Unfortunately, no-one has a perfect memory, and the Password Reset functionality in WordPress is dependent on a number of different factors too, including the site’s email setup, the email address used by the site, the rules of the email server used by the site, and the rules used by the member’s email server. Actually it is quite astonishing that it works at all, which is why I’d like to make you all aware of a more reliable method, at least as a last resort, in case you ever forget your password:

  1. Go to my blog site at http://blog.hollandnumerics.org.uk and click on the [Password Reset] link in the menu (under [Member Login]).
  2. Type in the email address you used when you registered on my blog site, or the most recently email address you’ve registered since joining, and click the [RESET PASSWORD] button.
  3. You should receive an email containing a link to the password reset page within a few minutes, and using that link should allow you to change your password to something you can remember.
  4. If you don’t receive an email within a few minutes, or the link in the email doesn’t seem to work, then you can contact the site administrator (that’s me!) by using the [Contact us] link, remembering to include the same email address you used on the site.
  5. I will send you back a freshly generated and fiendishly strong password by email with instructions to use it immediately to log in.
  6. Once you have logged in use the [Edit Profile] link in the menu (under [Member Login]) to update your password to something you can remember.

Note that I can check whether it really is you trying to update your password, and it will only be sent back to your registered email address. Note also that I’m based in the UK, so don’t expect a lightning fast response when it is 3am GMT. In return I will try to send you your new password at a reasonable time of the day for you too.

Please note that if you just want to change your password, but can still log in, starting at step #6 will work just fine for you!