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Add A LinkedIn Background Photo To Distinguish Yourself

Want to look tech-savvy and cool on LinkedIn? Then you need to have a background photo that shows up behind your personal photograph. Sarah is my career client and a Baby Boomer. As I was writing her LinkedIn Profile, she mentioned something I frequently hear. “I didn’t realize you could change the background. I just thought this is how it is supposed to look.” Once I showed her some options, she picked an abstract picture that is now part of her page. Her response was, “This is awesome. Who knew?” Most people don’t. Almost everyone has the LinkedIn default background for their profile, and they don’t realize it can – and should – be customized. You likely haven’t even noticed it.

Go to your LinkedIn page and check out the graphic behind your picture. This is what it looks like now:

Put some thought into what your background should look like. What is the right image? You want a background that will enhance your personal brand, attract employers. Or promote your company. Changing your background makes your page much more engaging. It pulls in anyone who comes to your page. And if you are over 50, it makes you look very tech-savvy.

Here is an example of a customized branding background. It’s what a consultant, business owner, or company executive might create to promote their services or organization.

Some job hunters might want to identify their location in their background photo. Here’s one my clients have used of San Francisco.

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Pretty cool, isn’t it? Today, 59% of people use smartphones when they view LinkedIn. Keep that in mind when you are trying to create something customized. Note where your personal photo resides on both a desktop and cell phone so that the image you select looks the way you want once you add the background picture. Since cell phone images are small, words or a lot of text don’t show up well, so be careful how much text you add and keep the size large.

Here are some tips to help you choose and put up the perfect background photo on your page.

Define the goal of your photo

Think of the background as an accent. It is there for a cool effect or to reflect your career field, business or location, whatever you want to emphasize.

As you review potential backgrounds, what is the image going to say about you? This photo is a branding image. For consultants and companies, they will want to hire a graphic artist and have something custom-made. It needs to be reflective of who your company is and what you sell. You might use a logo, but only if it’ll be clear and recognized. 

Your company product could make a great background image. For example, Rich Christiano owns a Christian film production and distribution company called ChristianMovies.com

 He says, “I’m not technically savvy at all. Robin, you told me how I could improve my branding on the background page of my LinkedIn profile, suggesting that I use the photo from my new movie and put it there. I had the images, so I went online and read about how to do it. I sized the picture and posted it myself.”

You could use your book cover in the background design like I did since that is your professional business card for an author. For consultants, you want something that sells your services. For many professionals and job hunters, you want to pick a complimentary photo that resonates with you. It could be a nature photo or a scenic location. Maybe it’s an abstract shot or some scene you like. For example, a client from Denver chose a background of snowy mountains. A Software Engineer picked a photo that displayed colorful wiring. For my client Mary, an HR Director, we chose an image that represented the diversity of the employees she works with daily. Karen used a water photo featuring dolphins simply because she liked it. 

Background photo size

You must pay attention to this requirement, or you’ll end up with a weird, distorted background. The desktop size, known as the official size, is 1584 x 336 pixels. Now a lot of that will get cropped off on smaller screens when people are using their smartphones. A safer, more practical size is likely 1000 x 120 pixels. Translate that into saying it’s an extended narrow photo you are uploading as your background picture but be sure it has good resolution. It’s great to use something you have taken yourself. Your state or city tourism bureau may have scenic photos you can download and use, so look at those websites if you want something local.

Finding free photos to use

If you Google “LinkedIn background photo,” you’ll find numerous options. A few websites have already taken gorgeous photographs and cropped them to the right background size, making it super easy for you to go and download the picture you want. They have different categories like landscapes, sports, nature, abstracts, etc., so if you go and look at what’s available, you are likely to find one that appeals to you. A few free sites are Unsplash.com and LinkedinBackground.com. WARNING: Be very careful when you are downloading photos from these kinds of sites. There are often a lot of malware and computer viruses placed on free Internet sites like these, so when you download a photo, you can get more than you bargained for. I know because that happened to me. 

The steps on how to add your background on LinkedIn.

–      Click on the ME icon on your LinkedIn page.

–      Click view profile

–         Click update background at the top of the profile

–      Select a picture from your computer to upload Click Upload Photo

–         Click Save.

It’s easy to do. Now that you have it completed, you have a very cool-looking background that makes you distinguish yourself and look more tech-savvy than most of the other people out there on LinkedIn.

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