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Facebook is for families and friends (unless you’re a teen). Twitter is for news. And LinkedIn is for work and career.
But with the massive growth of the pre-eminent professional networking site, which has jumped from 37 million users in 2009 to over 332 million near the end of 2014, many newbies are flooding the site. And, apparently ignorant of basic office protocol, plenty of them are committing career suicide by profile pic.
Here’s how to kill your shot at that hot new job in 30 seconds or less. Names have been obscured to protect the guilty.
1. Climbing down the career ladder
Show up on your profile pic on a ladder, apparently coming out of the sewer (or going back down), while not wearing a shirt. Bonus points for a sick grin.
2. Party girl (or guy) out on the town
Take a pic at your favorite night spot, dressed in your glam best. Ensure there is lots of wine and alcohol visible.
3. Just hangin’ with the dudes
Nothing says upwardly mobile like a profile pic showcasing your incredible bowling moves, especially when your jeans have super-hot stitched-on outer pockets.
4. Men are from Mars, right?
Show you care about your image and the future of your career by using a horrifically color-challenged profile pic. Red-tinged is nice, because you just came back from the beach.
5. Not psycho. Not psycho at all.
Hire me, or I’ll shoot you. Promote me, or I’ll ventilate you. Pay me, or I’ll go postal. You know I can do it. You know I have modern, fully automatic assault weapons that spray bullets like raindrops. And I like it too — you can tell from my grin.
6. Lost in the ’70s
I took my own profile pic with a 1970s-era camera. Or used a cool Instagram filter, you decide. Either way, I look totally awesome, hip, modern, and definitely very most-likely-to-succeed. All done ironically, of course.
7. That pixel is my face
Given that LinkedIn profile pics are so massively large and hi-res that you can see everything, I decided to take a full-body shot. That pinkish pixel up near the top? Yeah, that’s my head. Awesome, huh? What color are my eyes?
8. Go small, kid. Go small
I see no reason to showcase my overwhelming physical beauty on this third-rate social networking site. Here I am, in all my 30 pixel by 30 pixel glory. That extra space around my head? It’s white space that just sets off my extreme excellence.
9. Dude! Dude! No, I mean, like, really, DUDE!
Shirts are for losers, and losers most definitely don’t wear ball caps like me. Or Top Gun style shades, bro. And they mos def don’t make cool, not-quite-gang hand gestures on a beach like this. Dude!
10. Can we please focus here please?
I feel like my most excellent professional attribute is my keen focus. I focus on what’s most important, most of the time. I care so much about the future of my career that I focus on it full time. Focus is where it’s at, and without focus, what do you have? Red eyes, that’s what.
11. Also not psycho, 1920s style
When I was young, I never needed anyone. Don’t wanna be all by myself anymore, with my black & white photo. But I probably will be, with my first-ever passport photo.
12. International man of mystery
I am too cool for my profile pic. If I showed it to you, I’d have to kill you. That said, I still do want to network. Really. And get to know you, and trust you, and see your profile pic. Because professional networking really matters to me. Seriously.
13. My O-look
Sometimes I am just so overwhelmed by the overwhelming awesomeness of everything that I spontaneously feel really, really good. You know what I mean? That what-a-feeling feeling? The kind you have to close your eyes to really relish? This is me experiencing exactly that. I put it up on LinkedIn so you could all share that with me. You’re welcome.
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