LinkedIn – a gold mine for some, a rickety ride for others. Well, there’s one thing about this professional networking platform. You can love it or hate it, but you definitely can’t ignore it. From helping you connect with other professionals within your industry to landing your dream job, LinkedIn transforms careers. With features that range from listing your work experience to creating your very own LinkedIn background photo, your LinkedIn profile is a complete professional portfolio.
Talking of LinkedIn background photos, you’ll see many people creating appealing customized creatives that display their skills or the work they do. How do they do that? What ideas can help take your profile to the next level? This is where you’ll get answers to your LinkedIn background photo questions. Let’s dive in!
What Is A LinkedIn Background Photo?
On your LinkedIn profile, you’ll see two places where you can insert images. One is your profile photo, and the other is a horizontal, landscape format frame right behind your profile picture. That’s where a LinkedIn background photo gets inserted. It’s like a Facebook or Twitter cover photo. Creating a noticeable LinkedIn profile can take some time. It comes with practice and experience. It’s also about using all the features of the platform.
While it’s okay to put funny pictures of yourself on other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it’s not the same with LinkedIn. Since it’s a professional platform where everyone’s fighting for more visibility to get their next best job or lure the next big client, there’s a lot that the right LinkedIn background photo can do for you.
Why Is A LinkedIn Background Photo Important?
A LinkedIn background photo is the visual representation of your professional capabilities. When anyone visits your LinkedIn profile, they can learn about your skills, profession, passion, and career by simply looking at your LinkedIn background photo. Here’s why:
- The visitor doesn’t need to scroll through your entire profile and can understand what you do based on just your background photo and headline.
- Hiring managers, leaders, and entrepreneurs don’t have enough time to go through full profiles of potential candidates or agencies. Creating a LinkedIn background profile helps them save time while impressing them simultaneously.
- Creative LinkedIn background photos give a professional look and feel to your profile.
- You can express yourself more without having to write more.
- A LinkedIn background photo gives you a chance to stand out on a platform that has a whopping 740 million professionals worldwide.
How To Create Appealing LinkedIn Background Photos?
There are plenty of LinkedIn tools out there, but you don’t need to use a LinkedIn-specific tool nor do you need to be a graphic designer to boost your LinkedIn profile. Here’s 3 solutions to help you:
1. Download Canva
Canva is probably a household name by now. It’s a boon for those who want quick “and” appealing designs. You get to choose from thousands of readymade yet customizable templates. The best part is that you don’t need to be a design expert to use it; just log in and start. It’s free! The premium version gives you options such as customizable sizes and access to premium stock images. For a LinkedIn background photo, you don’t need the premium version. Here are the steps to make the creation process easy for you.
- Sign in to Canva using your email address.
- Type “LinkedIn Background Photo” in the search bar and click search.
- Take your pick from the readymade templates and start designing.
They’ll already be the size of a LinkedIn background photo, so you don’t need to change anything there. However, for your knowledge, here’s what LinkedIn recommends:
- 1584 (W) x 396 (H) pixels
- JPEG, GIF, or PNG files
- Up to 8MB.
2. Get Adobe Photoshop
If you’re a graphic designer or someone who knows how to use Adobe Photoshop, this is a great option. Adobe Photoshop gives you a highly customizable platform where you can design everything from scratch with the help of multiple tools and features that come with it. From giving your design a 3D effect to adding and editing photos, Adobe Photoshop can give your LinkedIn background photo a more professional and personalized touch.
You can get Adobe Photoshop from Adobe Creative Cloud.
3. Get Free Images
While those working in the content industry might know about websites that provide royalty-free images, most others are unaware of such platforms. Save yourself the money and get free images of anything and everything on these websites:
You can get good images of laptops, notebooks, offices, professionals, and everything your work life is about. Add them to your LinkedIn background photo to give everyone a gist of what your work life is all about.
Google images are also an option, but most Google photos are copyrighted and can’t be used without permission. If you’re using Google images, make sure that you check the “usage rights” in the tools section before proceeding with your search or download.
Further Reading: The 17 Best Infographic Maker and Graphics Tools
8 LinkedIn Background Photo Ideas To Boost Your Profile
Now that you know where to get free images from and what tools to use to create that perfect LinkedIn background photo, how do you design it? Should it have your picture on it? Should it be all about office desks and laptops? Can you add your cat’s image too? Let’s talk about some ideas to help you create an appealing and professional LinkedIn background photo.
1. Showcase Professionalism With Office Pictures
Adding an office desk that has a laptop and other gadgets along with office supplies can make your LinkedIn background photo look professional and sophisticated. There are some stunning options available on Unsplash that can provide an instant professional lift to your LinkedIn profile.
If you work in the corporate world and business meetings are an everyday schedule, use images of boardrooms and discussions in conference rooms. Such images will immediately reflect on the nature of your work, giving your profile visitors an idea of what your workday looks like.
Further Reading: How to Create a Killer Company Page on LinkedIn in 12 Easy Steps
2. Reveal “Delight” Moments
If you’re a business owner or a professional who focuses on a specific group of people, putting the final outcome of what you do for your clients on the Linkedin background photo can do wonders for your profile. For example, if you’re a psychiatrist, you’d want to put happy faces on your LinkedIn background photo to show that your therapy can make people happy again.
If you’re a fitness expert, you can add pictures of physically fit people eating healthy foods like fruits, etc. Putting such LinkedIn background photos directly speaks to the emotions of your clients. It shows them how they’ll feel after they have worked with you.
3. Prove Your Mettle With Results
If you’re a sales manager, real estate agent, digital marketer, or customer service expert, you have data to prove that you’re a result-oriented professional. Your LinkedIn background photo can become a canvas that displays your achievements in numbers. Made 1200 clients happy in 3 months? Sold 48 homes in 2 weeks? Helped a client achieve 1M+ video views on YoutTube? Put that information out there and impress your profile visitors.
4. Weave Your Creativity
If you’re a creative writer, a photographer, or an artist, show your craft to the world. Your LinkedIn background photo can be a window to your creativity. You only need that one best shot, the one creative punch line, that one dance move, and you’re all set to attract potential work or business.
By putting your main skill and talent on your LinkedIn background photo, you’re narrowing down the focus on the one thing you specialize in. This kind of background helps you steer clear of all the clutter. Your profile visitors will get a direct dose of what you’re best at without having to scroll any further.
5. Get Personal
A professional life doesn’t always mean that you need to keep your personal traits away. Who you are in your life largely influences who you are at work. You bring to your profession not just your skills and expertise in the subject matter but also your honesty and commitment, loyalty and passion, attention to detail or spontaneity, and a lot more.
Who you are gives a unique angle to the way you work and the results you bring. Let people know what to expect when they work with you by giving a glimpse of you in your LinkedIn background photo. How do you do that?
- Add pictures of what you love around what you do. For example, you can have “Entrepreneur” in the middle surrounded by your baby’s picture, your cats, travel maps, etc., to show that you love traveling and animals. You’re a mompreneur or a dadpreneur who likes to have a good work-life balance.
- You can also express the causes you believe in and what you stand up for.
6. Flaunt Your Product
If you’re a business owner, you might want everyone to see your new launches or other products that sell like hotcakes. Along with your best-selling product, including the one feature of the USP of your product. Your LinkedIn background photo is ready to make your competitors want to copy you, and their clients want to switch to you!
You can also flaunt that your business is pro-sustainability and follows ethical/eco-friendly processes during production.
7. Show yourself in Work-Mode
While your profile picture is just your front profile, your LinkedIn background photo can put the “you” into action. Show yourself working at your desk, or if you’re a photographer or a chef, you can take even more interesting shots of yourself in action. These kinds of LinkedIn banners are very attractive, and your potential clients or hiring managers can get a gist of how you are when you’re working.
8. Show Your Digital Nomad Life
For those who are remote workers, there are plenty of ways to showcase your lifestyle on LinkedIn. If you’re a digital nomad, you can change your cover often by updating your banner with pictures of the new city or country you’re in. If you work from home, you can show real pictures of your workspace and include pets! You could also create illustrations if you don’t want to use real pictures.
In a world where there are so many remote workers, it’s helpful to create a LinkedIn banner that stands out thanks to the pandemic. If you’re a digital nomad, make sure to add a personal touch to it by writing a personal work-related quote or a travel plus work quote. Show that you can work and travel simultaneously and that digital nomadism doesn’t mean less productivity. Get creative to prove that your choices are worth it and become an inspiration for aspiring remote workers.
No matter the idea you go with, here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Use fonts and colors that match your brand guidelines, especially if you’re displaying products.
- For those putting out their pictures or other illustrations to depict their work, it’s best to go with clean fonts and fewer colors to keep the background photo clear and easily understandable.
- Use free images that resonate with what you’re trying to express and ensure that they’re high-resolution images for clarity.
- Stay away from obscene or violent imagery.
- Don’t use offensive vocabulary.
- Your LinkedIn banner can contain only images without any copy or vice versa. There’s no such rule that you need to incorporate both.
Get Your LinkedIn Background Photo Right!
With all of these amazing options available, it’s easy to create a LinkedIn banner that stands out and has your essence. You’re able to choose what you want to put on display. It’s like an advertisement you don’t pay for, so take full advantage of this amazing feature on LinkedIn. While you can leave it blank, it’s best to stay away from an incomplete profile because you don’t want to miss out on professional opportunities. A simple addition of a LinkedIn background photo can change the way visitors perceive you.
Take some time out and create your Linkedin banner, a free ticket to accelerate your opportunities.
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Hero photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash
Gabriela Molina is a journalist and the copy editor of Think Remote. She has been writing for online magazines and blogs for more than four years and has discovered her passion for remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle.