Whether you’re a LinkedIn regular or your profile page has more cobwebs than Spiderman’s bedroom, chances are your LinkedIn cover image needs updated. Not only is it the first thing that people see when they visit your page, but displaying the perfect header photo can make a great first impression. Let’s start with the size that we’ll be working with.
If you navigate to your LinkedIn dashboard homepage and click on the “Update background photo” text you will see a dropdown that displays LinkedIn’s recommended dimension size.
The exact size in pixels is 1584 x 396px.
You may have noticed that you can reposition the photo so it’s best to upload a high resolution image for the best possible quality result.
It’s also worth mentioning that this is the size for your LinkedIn Profile Cover image and NOT your Business Cover Image. I’ll be covering that size in a different post. This image is not responsive like a Twitter Header so you’ll need to work around your portrait headshot that covers up part of the background.
Now that we’ve covered the dimensions let’s look at the different kinds of styles of images you may want to use.
If you’re not interested in designing your header image or if you just want something simple and clean, I would suggest choosing a photo that reflects your personality. Using a photo of yourself doing something you love doing is even better. Even though LinkedIn is traditionally seen as a “business network” most people want to get to know the person behind the connection.
I think Janet Fouts has a great example of this in which she used a row of pencils. The yellow one stands out (conveys originality), is slightly used (I infer that she “does the work”) and directs the viewers eye to her smiling approachable portrait below. It’s simple and effective.
Take a moment to think about the things that excite you, bring you energy, or hint at your hobbies. If you love skiing, post an image of you on a mountain top or if you’re camera shy you can always opt for a landscape photo you took from a recent trip. If you’re stuck finding your own photos you can always use a copyright free stock photo from a search engine like https://librestock.com.
I had mentioned that using personal photos versus stock photos can bring a lot of life to your page. Dig through your favorite photos and look for a picture of a recent gathering of friends or maybe a conference that you’ve attended. This will certainly add a human touch to all the text heavy information on your profile and will indicate to viewers that you’re approachable. A great example of this is Michael Stelzner’s cover photo in which he’s obviously having a great time capturing a moment with attendees at his conference Social Media Marketing World in San Diego.
If you have several photos to use you can even create a collage that highlights your interests and community if you happen to have one.
If you’re part of an organization or own a business chances are you have a favorite quote, slogan, or unique selling proposition that sums up approach. In my case, I chose a banner that reflects my attitude toward hard work and acts as a reminder that I try remain humble as part of my success.
The important thing about adding design elements or text on top of your photos is that you need to be careful in how the sizing and dimensions of your original photo are cropped. You’ll notice that my quote is constrained to a small box in the upper middle area of the banner. This is intentional because the LinkedIn cover art is viewed on a mobile phone or in the preview window of your account the sides get cropped like this.
If you want to take the guesswork out of creating this type of banner you can use my company’s templates at https://relaythat.com. I’ve found other templates to either be out of date or don’t compensate for the mobile cropping if that’s important to you.
So let’s all take a few moment to update our header image. We all get busy and before you know your personal brand feels like the “I’m on vacation this week.” voicemail message that your forgot to update from 3 months ago.
Or worse yet you’ll be like this person that sent me a request to connect. In my analogy about I’d put him in the “This user hasn’t set up their voicemail yet.” category. Don’t be this person and add as much personal information as you’re comfortable adding. It will strengthen the connection in the long run.