We are all visual consumers. We have been conditioned to buy with our eyes. LinkedIn correctly recognizes that first visual impressions are lasting ones. So they allow you to place a banner behind your top-most information box on your profile.

Citing a few colleagues’ smart use of this full-screen space to make a statement and acclimate a reader to their work, have a look at:

  • Robin Hagey, a realtor in Southern California who uses a gorgeous sunset (ahhhh!)
  • Paul Konigstein, an accounting consultant to nonprofits, who uses a word cloud to show his areas of expertise
  • Geri Stengel, a thought leader on women’s entrepreneurship issues, who uses a subtle reference to her logos behind a pleasing picture
  • Alissa Schwartz, whose great headshot is reinforced in the banner behind it
  • and mine, and sorry for the shameless self-promotion, is shown above, where I created a composite of pictures of me engaged in my work, showing me in action.

LinkedIn (yet again!) makes it hard to find where to find the place to start the process:

Open your profile and in the second group of boxes you will see “View More,” which will contain the remaining sections you have not yet loaded to your profile.

Click “Background Photo.”

LinkedIn’s advice on this photo:

Background images must be:

  • File type JPG, GIF or PNG
  • No larger than 4MB.
  • Pixel dimensions between 1000 X 425 and 4000 X 4000

If your background image appears blurry or pixelated, please choose an image with a file size as close to the maximum as possible, as images with larger file sizes typically look better. Photos will also look better than images with logos. If your image is still blurry or pixelated, you may want to run it through a compression tool such as Trimage for Windows or ImageOptim for Mac before uploading it to LinkedIn. However, please note that we can’t provide support for use of these third party tools. Also note that the display of the image may change based on the size of your web browser window and screen resolution.

Think brand, think quick recognition of skills and value proposition to the attention-deprived reader. Get those creative juices flowing and place a great demonstrative, scriptive banner on top of your profile page! A banner is worth a few thousand words.