Did I just log on to Facebook? Learn how to be approachable, attractive and dominant

Recently, I went to a networking event and I met a woman who really impressed me. The way she dressed, the way she presented herself made me think- whatever she was selling, I’d buy! She handed me her business card and suggested that we connect on LinkedIn. 

But, the next day when I went to her LinkedIn profile, I was taken aback. The professional looking business woman I had seen the night before was someone else completely on LinkedIn. What I mean by that was her photo was probably not even appropriate for Facebook! I saw a smiling woman in a pair of sunglasses and a bikini top, holding an alcoholic beverage on vacation (in what looked like Hawaii). Her picture destroyed my admiration for her and my plans to do any business or send any referrals to her. It was hardly the professional image that I was expecting to find, and it got me thinking “has LinkedIn become Facebook?”. Not only are we daily swamped with social and political topics, but many connectors are now also foisting their annoying opinions on us. Whatever happened to LinkedIn being about business? But I digress. Back to profile pictures. What does your profile picture say about you on your LinkedIn profile (or on your Website)?

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts :

  1. It should go without being said, but you want to look professional. Your hair and makeup should be done- remember what your audience wants to see.
  2. Do not wear busy clothing or have a busy background. We do not want to know if you are coming home from a party – and LinkedIn is not a dating site.
  3. Look personable.
  4. Your photo should take up about 75% of the frame – and don’t crop someone out.
  5. Make sure its a RECENT photo. As in a real picture, not one that makes you look like you are 25 when you are really 55. Yes, you know who you are!
  6. Keep it simple- no kids, pets, significant others, friends, etc.
  7. No selfies
  8. Show your teeth and smile!
  9. Suits should be dark, combined with a light button down or blouse
  10. Light background
  11. No sunglasses or hats
  12. Keep your hair away from your face- don’t block your eyes, no dark shadows or sun glare
  13. Show your head and shoulders

I wanted to put these tips to the test. I posted two photos. One of myself in business attire, and one looking as if I were on a dating site. The “dating site picture” was a winner for all the wrong reasons. I got plenty of “likes” but it was the comments that I thought were really inappropriate – and guess what? It was only men commenting! Though my professional business  photo “failed” for the amount of likes it got, it did make people look into my profile, ask questions, congratulate me on my position and provide me with what LinkedIn was meant to be- a networking platform.

So, keep it classy Cleveland, and remember LinkedIn is a business platform, so keep your bikini shots for Facebook!