Arré Checklist: What Your LinkedIn Photo Says About You


Arré Checklist: What Your LinkedIn Photo Says About You

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


n Begin Again, Mark Ruffalo firmly believed that “You can tell a lot about a person by their playlist” and this year, Paul Thomas Anderson made a whole film based on his iteration of that same belief, “You can tell a lot about a person by what they order for breakfast.” You, your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances may also believe in variations of this statement, gauging someone by their shoes, earrings, Filmfare subscription, or Pornhub search history terms. Your potential employers, however, have the last word on this belief with their universal stance, “You can tell a lot about a potential employee by their LinkedIn profiles.”

So, you give in, attempting to bullshit your way through a carefully curated LinkedIn profile aimed straight for your employer’s heart. LinkedIn is a little like Amar Singh: It lies unused in the shadows, all its links and poetry ignored, until the day it suddenly pops into relevance out of nowhere and hogs *all* the limelight. And unlike Amitabh Bachchan, you’re still not in a position to break all ties with it.


But remember, your profile picture speaks more than your 1000-word résumé. Find out if you are the Poo of the corporate world or a Dwight Schrute worshipper.

The Passport Pundits

You’re the bro who uses a 4×4 passport photo, where your face looks like you’re in need of the priest from The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The same photo which has scarred your friends and acquaintances for years on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But why should these guys have all the fun? So, you go ahead and put the latest passport photo in your possession as your LinkedIn profile picture. Because, you’re the kind of employee who believes in lowering the expectations of your potential bosses to such an extent that even the bare minimum – like you coming to work on time or not choking your colleagues to death – seems like a major achievement. After all, if your employers can’t handle you at your “spends nine hours at work watching Netflix,” they don’t deserve you at your “finalised four deals at work today”.

The Facebook Candids

You’re the hipster who thinks they were born to break the rules. Even when there aren’t any. In your head, you’re Mohabbatein’s Raj Aryan and LinkedIn is the Narayan Shankar your life neither needs or deserves. So you take one of your candids that has the most likes on Facebook, maybe the one where you’re sunbathing on the beach with a pint of beer in your hand. That’ll show ’em! It’s also an early indicator to future employers that you’re gonna be the star of their office. All you care about is a fancy designation that you can show off, because you, dear friend, are the Poo of the corporate world.

The Serious Players

You’re the person who’s actually taken the effort to have a low-key photoshoot, where you put on your most expensive formal wear and the best deadpan expression to click your official LinkedIn photo. You straighten your shoulders, cross your arms to indicate how you’re willing to use every body part at work if needed. For you, work comes before everything else, sometimes even common sense. You’re the person who is most likely to snitch on every colleague trying to extend his lunch break and least likely to have any friends. But, hey at least you’ll have a job, you rabid worshipper of Dwight Schrute.

The “What’s In a Face?” Tribe

You, my modern Shakespeare, believe in letting your work speak for itself, and refuse to be tied down by social constraints like a LinkedIn profile picture. You’re the guy who’ll likely be the most underpaid employee at your office, because as good as you are at your work, you’re also horrible at bragging. You’re the last of the endangered species who are identified by their indifference to seeking validation. Despite your position at the lowest rung of the social ladder, you ensure that you not only meet your targets, but also the targets of your boss, colleagues, clerk, and even the security guard. Congratulations, because you’ll be “Employee of the Year”, which is just code for “everyone laughs at you behind your back, you loser.”