Does your LinkedIn profile photo show warmth like this puppy?

For the typical military professional in transition (aka #MPIT), one of the biggest problems I have seen them face is sharing a little warmth in their LinkedIn profile photo. When I encounter most veterans is the stoic look shown in my slide below.

I am using my class slide to share the transition from the military look that many commanders and first sergeants embrace for their official orderly room photo.

It’s that classic nonverbal expression that states: “If I get a call from the local police at 2 a.m., this is how I will look when I get that call.”

While that works to inform everyone about the consequences of acting stupidly while in the military, #MPITs must change their LinkedIn profile photo to ones with warmth.

Whenever I teach a class or talk to a student via an online chat, I use this slide to show the conversion needed with this important element. The non-verbal reactions of laughter and smiles tell me that military people understand the change in culture needed for their LinkedIn photos.

Changing to a warmer look for this important LinkedIn element shows others that you want to belong to a team.

For most of us in the military, it’s hard to overcome four to 20-plus years of acting stoic as a leader or a technician.

In a recent online coaching session, I asked Charles, an Army tank platoon sergeant, to think of something joyous. For him, it was his younger daughter who wanted a plush penguin doll sent to her. She had heard that her father could see penguins while he was deployed away from home in Poland. Once Charles shared that story, that helped him show the warmth needed in his profile photo.

Warmth, for many, is that missing element needed in their LinkedIn profile photo. Like other aspects of one’s profile, the photo can take some thought and a little work.