Wondering why everyone else is getting great results off LinkedIn – while you’re waiting for your turn?

I don’t know you, but I’ll take a guess – your photo is probably terrible.

How could I possibly know this? I’ve talked too often with the frustrated job seeker who, disenchanted with LinkedIn, says he or she believes “LinkedIn doesn’t work.”

This is nearly always the person with a major photo disadvantage.

So what’s the best way to figure out if you’re due for a photo upgrade? Read on for some common signs of a LinkedIn Photo mishap:

1 – You don’t receive a reply to your InMails or inquiries.

Is every message you send to recruiters ignored? Hmmm… what could be the problem?

If ALL of the following are true:

  • You’re applying to companies that hire people in your field;
  • Your industry hasn’t tanked;
  • You’re reasonably qualified (education and experience-wise) to fill these positions;
  • You’ve verified that the recipient appears to be an active LinkedIn user (at least 500 Connections is a good sign);
  • Your inquiry (and Profile) are professionally worded and relevant to the job requirements;

It might be time to take another look at that photo.

2 – You’re wearing an expression, and it’s not a professional one.

Too many people look surprised, angry, scared, or otherwise bug-eyed in their LinkedIn photos. Is this you?

Did you take use a picture snapped in an otherwise non-professional mood?

If you’re not sure how your photo comes across, send it to at least 3 trusted friends and ask them how they interpret the picture. Based on this feedback, consider trying out another shot that better represents your work demeanor.

3 – You’re somewhere that isn’t work.

And if it’s a bar or a party, that’s NOT a good setting from your future boss’s perspective. Even a photo inside your car says “I didn’t take the time to put my best professional foot forward.”

The best shots for a LinkedIn photo show only you, without friends, passing vehicles, or your dog taking center stage. In fact, the more minimal the background (and the less controversial your attire), the easier it is for your personality to shine through.

In short, your LinkedIn photo is your public face – the one most interviewers, recruiters, and employers will use to make a decision on your fitness for your next job. Make sure it represents your personal brand!

If you believe it could detract from your professional image, switch things up with a conservative, professional-looking headshot that could make the difference in finding that next great opportunity.