The LinkedIn Profile Header – How to Improve Your Look

by mikeoneil on June 4, 2014 · 2 comments

in LinkedIn

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Integrated Alliances has the specific detail you need to take advantage this new LinkedIn profile header.  Everything you need to know including the size and specific dimensions are below. I saw this coming and I bet many of you did as well. What is good for one social media platform is good for them all – to some extent. Let’s get started.

Before you get TOO excited, you must know that this is a feature for paid subscribers only. To some, this just might be what puts you over the edge to “go paid”, especially if branding is part of your vocabulary.

Let’s get a bit of a perspective first. You may have noticed that LinkedIn has been getting spiced up quite a bit lately, especially on the visuals side. I would make the case that LinkedIn is the MOST VISUAL of all the social media platforms.

Here is the evidence:

  1. LinkedIn Profile Photos – They are larger now – 450 x 450 pixels.
  2. LinkedIn Profile Rich Images – you can add photos, PPT’s, PDF’s and even videos to your LinkedIn profile in the Summary, in your job entries and even in your education entries. There are 2 Rows – Row 1 is 810 x 400 pixels and Row 2 is 460 x 320 pixels.
  3. LinkedIn Company Pages – It is a very simple header with no cutouts and it is 646 x 220 pixels.
  4. LinkedIn Showcase Pages – a sort of replacement for the Product/Services Pages (that we all really miss), are 974 x 330 pixels and they have a cutout area you must map around.

That brings us to the BRAND NEW LinkedIn Profile Header…

Like Twitter and Facebook

If this “header thing” looks a little familiar, well it might. Both Twitter and Facebook moved to this type of header in May (2014) and with similar dimensions no less. Each has its own unique cutouts that you must map around and both feature a color gradient on the bottom that you cannot deselect.

Twitter and Facebook are especially difficult to design header images for because of their mobile applications, which display the header on the smaller screens. LinkedIn’s header does NOT show on mobile applications, at least for now.

That means that in Twitter and Facebook, you must design ONE single image that works for browsers, iPhone and Android. This is due to the “responsive design” they chose to implement. Their mobile applications parse out the header image and adapt it to the device, cutting of the left and right sides of the image in the process.

While this is a nice on the surface, it’s a designer’s nightmare and it can get expensive if you pay a designer by the hour. My bright idea – have 2 headers that you create and upload, one for browsers and one for mobile devices. Is it really that hard?

Twitter Header Image Example

Here is an example of our Twitter header template. See what I mean about complex?

Twitter Template

LinkedIn Profile Header

Here is a generic version of the LinkedIn Profile Header. Notice how the cutout comes into play and notice the color gradient at the bottom on the (screen shot). The gradient is subtle, but it makes putting any content on the bottom a bit difficult. For example, I chose not to put anything there – just a color for that very reason.

LinkedIn Profile Header Template

Mike O’Neil’s LinkedIn Profile Header

This is my profile header image before I load it up. Notice the open area below. It will get blocked once it is uploaded.

Mike O'Neil's LinkedIn Profile Header

LinkedIn Profile Header “In Place”

Now look at the header as it shows on my LinkedIn profile. Notice how the cutout area comes into play on the live site. I included the LinkedIn menu system so you could get a full perspective. See it live at http://LinkedIn.com/in/mikeoneil

Mike O'Neil's LinkedIn Profile Header in place

For a consolidated template of ALL LinkedIn’s images, including cutouts, CLICK HERE.

LinkedIn Profile Header Image Content

So, what goes in a header image? Well that’s up to you and a bit of layout may be in order. You could upload a large image or graphic. Be thinking of something that fits your brand (if you have one). This is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY should you choose to take advantage of it.

If you put text in it remember that this is a picture and search engines will not see the text. That is fine though because profile visitors will still see it and see it in a big way. Here is an example with text and branding in a header.  It is from Brandt “Bubba” Page, the founder of QuotaDeck. It works very well for him.

Bubba Page's LinkedIn Profile Header

Supporting Your Brand

It is VERY important for the header image to support your brand. In a nutshell, it must “make sense”. Branders know this and you may know it as well.

For example, I am known in professional circles as “The LinkedIn Rockstar”. I’m a LinkedIn and social sales speaker and trainer and I’m into rock & roll (like many of my clients). I made my LinkedIn Profile Header consistent with my brand as you can see above.

* Realize that this is a first cut (profile headers were just released today) and I will most definitely evolve this image over time.

That’s me at on stage at a conference. That’s me at Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp hanging out with Grand Funk founder Mark Farner and Sandy Gennaro who played with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, The Pat Travers Band, Cindi Lauper and even The Monkees. Imagine what THEIR LinkedIn profile headers will look like once we help them.

Other LinkedIn Profile Header Examples

Here is another take on a LinkedIn Profile Header image so you can get some more ideas on how you might create yours. It is from my partner Lori Ruff. See it live at http://LinkedIn.com/in/loriruff

Lori Ruff's LinkedIn Profile Header

There are literally a thousand ways a LinkedIn Profile image could work and it will be some time before a consensus is reached on what is best (if there ever is one). Designers will undoubtedly be doing all sorts of creative things over the next few weeks and months.

A Quick Fix

LinkedIn provides some generic header images that can work for an immediate fix. If you have a graphics program or even PowerPoint, you can put something together in less than an hour.

Test, Test, Test

The key to a successful out come is testing, especially if you are doing images for Twitter and Facebook, where mobile is the Achilles heel.  For example, here is an early version of Bubba’s image. It took 5 iterations until we got it done just right and we still may do some editing down the road.

Bubba Page's LinkedIn Profile Header - 1st cut

Special Thanks

Our graphic designer is Andrew Cameron and he has done all of our images for 2 ½ years now. He did all of the images you see here, including the templates. If you’d like some graphics help, especially for social media, he is an absolute expert at it. Find Andrew at http://GraphicBreeze.com or http://LinkedIn.com/in/GraphicGreeze

Your Opinion

So, what are your thoughts on LinkedIn Profile Headers at this early stage? They are a Paid Subscriber exclusive. Are you OK with that? What about Twitter and Facebook?

About the Author

Mike O’Neil is The LinkedIn Rockstar. He is the world’s very first LinkedIn trainer (2006) and he has taught over 500 LinkedIn training sessions, mostly to sales teams that want to learn how to attract more inbound business and sell more effectively using LinkedIn, social media and social selling.

Find Mike at http://LinkedIn.com/in/mikeoneil or at http://Integratedalliances.com

Author: mikeoneil (85 Posts)

@MikeONeilRocks ♫ The LinkedIn Rockstar ♫ #RockTheWorld Author & Radio Host | #LinkedIn Sales Trainer | #SocialMedia Speaker Authority Visionary Celebrity ♫ klas-ik-rokr'/ ♫ Interested in Rocking LinkedIn? Free Training Here: http://RockLinkedIn.com


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