Your LinkedIn profile needs a cover photo -- the right cover photo at that. You need one that speaks to who you are, what you do or where you live and work. After all, it's about standing out and showing the world that you know that details matter. Plus, with more than half of a billion users on the professional networking platform, you need to make a little extra effort.
Just like you wouldn't leave your name off the top of your resume, you need to make a mark on the top of your LinkedIn. Here's where to look for your perfect LinkedIn cover picture.
1. Your photos.
You might find the right LinkedIn cover art right on your camera roll. Maybe it's a picture of your city skyline, your college campus, your office building or your product lining store shelves. Maybe it's the view from your office or the mountains or beaches that represent your region.
2. Stock photos.
Check out stock photo sites like pexels.com, pixabay.com or unsplash.com. Search by keywords to find royalty-free photos for free or a small one-time fee. Among the photos I've found for clients: city skylines for various professionals, an apothecary chest for a pharmacist, library bookshelves for an educator, beautiful produce bins for a nutritionist and sports turf for a sports marketer. I also search by color so I can find buildings and patterned images that match a company's color scheme.
3. Your company.
Ask your company's marketing department if there is a branded cover image that it likes team members to use. If it doesn't, maybe the company will consider creating one. Or, if you run the company, consider hiring a graphic designer to make a branded image that you and others in your firm can upload to your profiles, for a consistent and professional look. I like repeating patterns that feature the company logo.
Bonus thought: When choosing your cover art, be mindful of the placement of your profile photo, so that it doesn't block out an important part of the cover image. After all, the profile photo overlaps the cover photo. Currently, LinkedIn displays profile photos at the far left of the cover image -- both on desktop and mobile versions. Of course, LinkedIn could change this; in the past, profile pictures overlapped with the center of cover photos. You just want to makes sure your cover art displays as you intended.