This is Day 1 of a 7-day article series that was kicked-off by “4 Ways You’re Looking at Your LinkedIn Profile Wrong and 7 Days To Fix It.” It is designed for any sales person, whether happy or looking. It offers profile ‘must-haves’ and attempts to anticipate objections.
Day 1, I’m asking you to think about your profile picture.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site. If I was to summarize this entire posting: Match its purpose with a professional-looking photo. Just a nice headshot – indoor, outdoor, formal or semi-formal. Smile, let a little personality come out. Splurge on a professional photo shoot if you like, but avoid the dated JCPenney portrait studio look.
Consider: Recruiters and hiring managers are evaluating you to represent their organizations. Prospects and customers are evaluating whether or not they want to take a call with you. What would you wear to a meeting? Wear that. Who are you going to bring to a meeting? Probably just you, so leave out loved ones. If you sit up alert and ready to sell in your sales presentations, look like that.
And just for those “what about” people who need specifics, here’s the list of no-no’s:
- No selfies in the car
- No creeping hands on shoulders
- No sunglasses or hilarious party hats
- No shots of you on the golf course
- No dogs, fish, dead hunted animals
- No party dresses or wedding shots with others in the background
- No podium pictures
- No prison-orange shirts and/or standing against a plain wall mugshots
- No shots of you at the bar with your friends, despite how good you looked that night
“Why do you care about my picture? Recruiters/hiring managers should only care about my performance.”
We’re looking for people not profiles. Please personalize my experience of your profile by helping me build the narrative, starting with who you are. If you want me to think you’re a fisherman, fish away, but you’re not likely to get an interview with the company I’m representing. I know, sounds harsh, but this really is a professional site.
“I’m not looking.”
Think about this one. You are not an order-taker. You probably work hard to find people and convince them that they have a need for your product. How often were your prospects ever really looking for what you were selling? If they hadn’t taken that first meeting with you, how would they have discovered the great product you have? Giving you that first yes ultimately improved their business and maybe even their careers.
With a solid LinkedIn profile, you are a prospect as well. All the time. Be ready and willing to see what’s out there. If you’re not, how can you be certain you’re in the right spot? Don’t worry about us recruiters. Just like you, we sell and we can handle “no.” At the very least, inquiries from recruiters will make you feel good, get you up to speed interesting technologies, on who’s got money to hire, and confirm you’re right where you should be — or not.
Stay tuned for the next few days of tips in this 7-day series.
- Day 1/7: Your Profile Picture
- Day 2/7: Get Your Dates Right
- Day 3/7: Your Narrative
- Day 4/7: Re-consider That Title You Love
- Day 5/7: Demonstrating Performance Without Turning Off Prospects
- Day 6/7: Validating Your Character: Endorsements and Special Facts
- Day 7/7: The Not-So-Pretty Stuff: Hard Times and How to Handle Them