The make-over can be done in stages so start here if you need to update your pictures.

2019 Picture Sizes – LinkedIn

LinkedIn maximum image file size 8MB and the file type must be PNG, JPEG, or GIF.

LinkedIn profile cover photo: 1584 wide by 396 high. This is exactly 4:1 proportion.

LinkedIn profile picture: 400 x 400 pixels preferred – larger square could mean issues related to cropping or quality.

Made using Canva to aid better Linkedin profile picture make-overs

The suggested picture sizes are subject to change and you can manage your photographs or pictures easily using the wizards or custom image sizes in your software or apps.

To source interesting free photo or other stock pictures for free to add a new look to your profile, or to make a banner type image, please check out the following unaffiliated/clean links:

Free tools to enable you to edit your own picture and to size correctly:

  • Stencil
  • Snappa
  • Canva (our favourite because you can add text or graphics and use a framework as well as per the example below)

OR you can simply take a good photo or upload one and edit it in your app.

Belinda Davis

Images flipped and colour enhanced or made into a black and white picture using Canva and Pixlr

Patricia E. Zurich Networking Group

Renewing your Linkedin profile ( remember to bookmark this page for easy reference)

Contact Information

How do you want to be contacted? How do you think LinkedIn think you want to be contacted?

You must check your settings because you may list your email address and then because your settings are incorrect or because LinkedIn made an update, it does not show to your connections or a potential recruiter. All too often people connect to a recruiter then get disappointed they are messaged because they do not know that their settings are set to not share / private. To rely on LinkedIn messaging is not best practice especially when you want to discuss more personal matters. 

It is usual to fill out your contact information, including company, phone number, email address, website, and other relevant contact information. You do need to remember that not everyone has InMail and a few people will just want to scroll through your profile links to click to call or send you an email. 

Please make sure your email address is up to date and it is one you check regularly if using it to search for a new job. 

Click to view

Linkedin profile picture travers zurich networking group

Profile Background Graphic

That blue starry area that many who do not really use LinkedIn updates to personalise the page, or who like to create the impression that by not having an image they are not an active user. There are many reasons for people not to update the section. 

In reality, many ask users and employees to update it to be consistent with company or brand guidelines. 

The picture on the left shows one example of using Canva which when viewed in LinkedIn looks like this which is deliberate because:

  • Add contact information for use by others making it an easy view.
  • Promote the networking group to a wider audience.
  • For demonstration purposes show how you can think of using a split image.

Other group member examples include:

  1. Simple use of company logo and white space
  2. A nice picture confirming their location
  3. It says it all – clear message in a different way to the 1st example

Remember, the picture has to reflect you. Job seekers and management are often pictured with a clear image, possibly speaking at an event, or simply advertising a product in a great way. Image resource to help you has been provided above and because it is creative commons, you can use it with Canva to make it your own. 

Profile Photo

You can alter the settings to keep this private to be seen by only your connections or visible to an Internet search. The smartphone is your friend and if you don’t have time for a professional headshot, get a friend to take a few photographs (or a lot if you are not happy with their picture taking skills).

It is believed profiles with a photo get more views, as a recruiter, I do not care if a profile has one or not. So many profile pictures are 5 – 10 years old and it is not uncommon to be called out by a colleague who is surprised by the image when they connect to others.  

If you are going for an interview, you should look like your online persona and self.

Remember the basics for photography, which include: The image is you and reflects you in the correct way. Avoid complex patterns and busy backdrops, try a plain white wall background (we have a few in Switzerland) or similar or consider the new trend to make the uploaded picture a black and white one.

Do make sure you can be seen. It is not uncommon to see a picture of someone and to be left wondering why did they not get closer to the lens.

Your Headline – the space by your name

The headline is often used most by a mobile or smartphone user and to view your profile when you:

  • Make a comment or post and someone is interested to know more about you
  • Are listed in a group member, contact or search outcome list

So many people overstate the value of getting this right, having viewed 1000`s over the years and seen trends come and go including shouting you are a LION or have many emoticons, many now simply use a statement which works for them. You need to consider your objective and when you want to be found or listed, to help we have listed a few group member headlines here which include:

  • Senior Structured Originator at AXPO Solutions AG
  • Fashion & Beauty is my passion which I live every day with my team!
  • Relationship Manager bei Credit Suisse
  • Investment Funds & Distribution | Senior Sales Strategist & Business Manager | Leading Companies To Their Goals
  • Enabling organizations to create sustainable value | Strategist, Advisor, Senior Director | Sustainability, CSR |

The last two entries use an l which is sometimes referred to as a pipe or separator, it helps search words to be separated when someone else makes a search on LinkedIn. It is similar to using an “OR” in the search box and can be a simple letter l ( lower case). The people using such a pipe are relying on keyword search results and want to use fewer words. 

Space has been reduced to a snippet by LinkedIn with each update as their drive to being a mobile compatible platform. Please choose wisely because it does impact your profile view count and you can use the space how you want. It can work two ways, not to be visited – leave empty or basic, or complete it to be viewed and an active personal branding area. 

Profile summary

This will take you time, many recruiters do not even read the full profile summary. Many simply suck it up into a candidate pipeline in Linkedin recruiter folder before blasting out a template job description to check if you are interested with a message.

The readership and response rate for Inmail is less than 18% so take time to research SEO keywords and take the approach your profile is just a data-driven Google or Bing search outcome in a LinkedIn world which changes.

One trick to deploy is the SEO search keyword panel similar to that I use in my profile – Andrew Travers. How long it is effective, I do not know. It has a variable effect, from 100 search results per week to over 300. That is sufficient variance for me to know it works and is used. The problem, much of what I have written is not relevant because my work experience does not match the “hot market” search requests.

It does confirm you can keep the LinkedIn profile summary section concise with fewer sentences and ideas can be found from a variety of sources for Keyowrd content including:

An R&D Engineer – with CATIA skills could check answers when another engineer asks a question on Quora, as per this example.

Please remember it must make sense to remember that the total word count is limited and you do need to dumb your profile summary down to the non-expert level. Many times an HR researcher has never touched a stress testing machine, diesel particle analyser or worked in a computer room helping move server racks, swapping out Cat5e for Fiber or had to be on site with an angry client shouting for action and an immediate remedy. 

Too often search outcomes result because of the words used and noted by HR from the hiring manager, so think of the other person if you are seeking new business partners or a job. Your audience is, in fact, the one you want to find you, not the 240 or so attracted to common keywords resulting from a bad search. Ask a friend to read your summary as a check, their second pair of eyes could save you hours of revisions.

Employment History – jobs and roles

Do not go back through time to list everything you have done and each responsibility. Many recruiters will not look past the last 10 years. Keep the full information and SOAR statements short, concise and easy to read.

You just need to ensure it is aligned to your CV, we even advise that you only need the last 10-5yrs of employment on the LinkedIn profile.

Any job seeker will have their CV parsed into an applicant tracking system (ATS) and all data and keywords extracted. The advantage of LinkedIn profile applications is that the ATS has been designed with it in mind, not to parse and search a non-Times Roman font which often is searched with less than 100% accuracy by many ATS providers.   

Skills Section and Education

The panel of fame and game, please tidy this up, too many people have old skills listed which are not relevant and date back to the LinkedIn pat on the back mutual click a skill era pre-2016. Good recruiters and hiring managers take time to check and ignore the mutual pat on the back entries. Times have changed and it is time to update and re-visit.

You as a person have grown and so have your management capabilities, knowledge and troubleshooting skills over the period you have had an account. Skills can be deleted and ones with under 10 recommendations can be replaced. I had one for a period of time which was “sense of humour” which was highly rated by people I did not know, why? to evidence, people will click anything without being asked. You can have anything you want here including drone flight engineer, drone pilot or similar. You do not need to keep to a list suggested by LinkedIn because it helps their search tools, times are changing and new terms and skills are being created all the time.  

Take the drone example, how many have the skills to be a drone pilot? Think of where the future of home delivery is going, today it may be of limited value, in three years it could be a key search term outcome. If you are worried about having ones listed with 0, do not, remember connections can be asked to confirm them and Linkedin recruiter search will find you because of the tag regardless.

A profile review example (all Financial Controllers may relate):

A person approached us and in his skills listing there were a lot of BAAN ERP reviews and a “ticks” which he put to the top of the list because he felt he was good at it, he had over 20 recommends from old colleagues.

The problem for a new job search, he had been using SAP Business for the last 8 years for which he had only 3 recommends.

This is a small point but it may help to replace one with another, ask your current colleagues to help by internal or personal email, this serves two purposes:

  • Helps you re-connect with others
  • Get an update on terms or acronyms if you have not been looking for some time

A recruiter or HR or a hiring Finance Director would expect to see this use or knowledge of when seeking a Controller or similar. 

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