Optimize LinkedIn for Career Growth: Part I

Make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the crowd by following these hacks.

Welcome to One Up Your Career - the daily info-vitamin capsule 💊 by Unnati to help you growth hack your career.

To read this issue online and leave your comments, click here.


Hey Y’all,

While the world is fighting the deadly coronavirus, experts predict that the post corona world will be plagued with another crisis- unemployment. Hence, now would be a good time to expand your professional network in an effective way to deal with the looming crisis.

Our theme for this week is, building a personal brand on LinkedIn. I believe that personal branding is just a phrase and all you need to do today is to ace the 21st-century communication. LinkedIn is today’s communication tool connecting you to the largest professional circle. It has transformed the lives of many professionals, including mine. I have been using LinkedIn to connect with clients, build my brand, engage with people, share views, hire etc. Building my personal brand on LinkedIn has augmented my business. At present, I have more than 28,500 connections and that makes me a social influencer of sorts 😁. I did work hard to reach this level and here are my learnings.

In this article, I am sharing tips on one of the most interesting sections of the LinkedIn profile - Profile Picture.


Post that Picture

Leaving the profile picture section blank is a professional harakiri. If you have chosen to create your profile on LinkedIn then you might as well upload your picture. Why?

According to LinkedIn data, an account with a profile picture attracts 7 times more views and receives a 40 % higher Inmail response. Moreover, the LinkedIn algorithm prioritizes profile with photos and hence they have a greater chance to be found by relevant parties.

The specifications for a good quality picture are:

  • Resolution - 500 x500 pixels.

  • Format - JPG, PNG, and GIF

  • Size - up to 8 MB (I suggest keep it closer to 7 MB).

Here are a few tips on picking the right profile picture.

Your Profile Picture is how others perceive you

Your profile picture is the first thing that gets noticed. As the saying goes, the first impression is the last impression. So, make a good impression by posting a appropriate picture. The profile picture should be the professional best look of you. The picture should be coherent with your profession. I chose to go with a semi-formal look in a relaxed environment because it looks friendly and approachable. Something that is necessary for my line of business.

LinkedIn is the largest network of professionals in the world and should not be confused with other social media platforms. It is a powerful digital resume that can be showcased to a wide professional network. The profile picture plays an important role in setting the right vibe and people will judge you based on it.

60% of the frame must be you

The display picture section is to highlight your face. The picture is used as a thumbnail on posts and comments. To ensure that your face is visible in the thumbnails, a minimum of 60 percent of the frame must be your face. Crop the picture from the top of your shoulders to just above your head so that your face fills the frame.

People want to see who they are connected with as it creates transparency and garners trust from the connections. Instead of taking selfies, get your picture clicked by someone. This will allow you to pose comfortably and look natural.

Do not be a stoic

Your profile photo is a representation of you in the digital world. According to research on profile photos, it was noted that smiling pictures with teeth visible have the highest impact. It ranks high on the likability scale and is the most influential. But do not go overboard, too much of anything backfires.

The same research also points out that slightly squinched eyes portray comfort and confidence. There are no strict rules on the way you pose but make sure that you are comfortable in your skin while getting clicked.


Do you have any questions related to job search or career enhancement? Ask us here. Each month Akshay Datt, founder of Unnati, will mentor the jobseeker who poses the most interesting question.

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