Learning LinkedIn: Background Photos

Overview

“Learning LinkedIn: Background Photos” is an interactive e-module that was created to address a gap in existing training content on LinkedIn optimization.

As an instructional designer for the Graduate Career Services at the College of Liberal Arts,  University of Minnesota, I noticed a lack of open-access tutorials for professionals looking to optimize their LinkedIn profiles. To fill this gap, I reached out to a LinkedIn expert, and we collaborated to create a course series about different components of LinkedIn profiles. This module is the second in a Learning LinkedIn series.

This module is specifically designed to empower learners to maximize the visual impact of their LinkedIn profile by effectively utilizing their background photos as a free advertising space for their personal brand.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, learners will be able to:

  • Advertise themselves using their LinkedIn background photos,
  • Write a branding statement to guide their design,
  • Avoid common pitfalls in creating background photos,
  • Personalize their background photos to reflect their personal brand,
  • Use Canva to create a visually appealing background photo.

Primary and Secondary Audience

This module was designed to help K-12 teachers and academics transitioning out of the higher ed industry to optimize their LinkedIn profiles.

However, it is also suitable for anyone who wants to learn how to select and/or create a professional and effective background photo for their LinkedIn profile.

To make sure the content is accessible to everyone, I used a conversational language, avoided jargon, and focused on providing practical advice and examples.

Instructional design approach

The module is learner-centered, interactive, and fun, featuring engaging activities and knowledge checks that reinforce the key concepts.

I used multiple examples to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts of background photos, and provided step-by-step tutorials using tools like Canva to create an effective background photo.

The final assessment requires learners to apply what they learned by helping a fictional character, Alex (they/them), to select their background photo.

Primary and Secondary Audience

This module was designed to help K-12 teachers and academics transitioning out of the higher ed industry to optimize their LinkedIn profiles.

However, it is also suitable for anyone who wants to learn how to select and/or create a professional and effective background photo for their LinkedIn profile.

To make sure the content is accessible to everyone, I used a conversational language, avoided jargon, and focused on providing practical advice and examples.

Instructional design approach

The module is learner-centered, interactive, and fun, featuring engaging activities and knowledge checks that reinforce the key concepts.

I used multiple examples to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts of background photos, and provided step-by-step tutorials using tools like Canva to create an effective background photo.

The final assessment requires learners to apply what they learned by helping a fictional character, Alex (they/them), to select their background photo.

Accessibility considerations

“Learning LinkedIn: Background Photos” was designed with accessibility in mind, to ensure that all learners, including those with disabilities, can participate in the learning experience.

The course was built to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA standards, which include considerations for users with visual, hearing, and mobility impairments. There are closed captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions to ensure that learners with hearing impairments can access the content. The use of color and contrast was also considered to ensure that the course is visually accessible for learners with color vision disabilities. Additionally, the course was designed to be compatible with screen readers and keyboard navigation to accommodate learners with mobility impairments.

Assessment and evaluation

To ensure the module was effective in meeting its learning outcomes, I employed a variety of assessment methods, including quizzes, fun games, and surveys. The quizzes throughout the course provided low-stakes opportunities for learners to check their understanding and apply their new knowledge. The final assessment required learners to apply their learning to a realistic scenario where they helped a fictional character, Alex (they/them), choose their background photo.

In addition to these assessments, we also conducted surveys to gather feedback from learners about their experience with the course. We used this feedback to improve the course and make it more effective for future learners. The surveys covered various aspects of the course, including the content, the instructional design approach, and the overall learning experience.

success stories

Since the release of “Learning LinkedIn: Background Photos,” numerous users have reported positive changes to their LinkedIn profiles, including increased engagement and connections with potential employers.

One user commented that the module helped them to “create a professional and eye-catching background photo that really captured the essence of [their] personal brand.”

Another user mentioned feeling more confident and professional with their new background photo, which translated into more engagement from potential employers and professional contacts.

The module has received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with users praising the clear and engaging content, interactive exercises, and practical tips and tricks for optimizing their LinkedIn profiles.

success stories

Since the release of “Learning LinkedIn: Background Photos,” numerous users have reported positive changes to their LinkedIn profiles, including increased engagement and connections with potential employers.

One user commented that the module helped them to “create a professional and eye-catching background photo that really captured the essence of [their] personal brand.”

Another user mentioned feeling more confident and professional with their new background photo, which translated into more engagement from potential employers and professional contacts.

The module has received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with users praising the clear and engaging content, interactive exercises, and practical tips and tricks for optimizing their LinkedIn profiles.

One notable success story for “Learning LinkedIn” is my interview with Dr. Luke Hobson on his instructional design podcast, where I discussed the collaborative work I did with a LinkedIn expert on this project. The podcast episode (“An Inside Look at the Instructional Designer and Subject Matter Expert (SME) Partnership“) received positive feedback and sparked interest from other instructional designers and educators.

One notable success story for “Learning LinkedIn” is my interview with Dr. Luke Hobson on his instructional design podcast, where I discussed the collaborative work I did with a LinkedIn expert on this project. The podcast episode (“An Inside Look at the Instructional Designer and Subject Matter Expert (SME) Partnership“) received positive feedback and sparked interest from other instructional designers and educators.

Experience the module

Ready to experience the module for yourself?

Click the “Launch Learning LinkedIn: Background Photos” button to access the module and start learning about optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

Let’s connect and explore how we can collaborate.

Saeide Mirzaei

Instructional Designer

All works on this website by Saeide Mirzaei are licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. The Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) grants visitors to this website the right to share and distribute the works by Saeide Mirzaei found on this website, as long as they give appropriate credit, do not use them for commercial purposes, and do not modify or create derivative works based on them. This license provides a clear and simple way for visitors to use and share the content on this website while protecting the integrity of the original works.

Let’s connect and explore how we can collaborate.

Saeide Mirzaei

Instructional Designer

All works on this website by Saeide Mirzaei are licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. The Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) grants visitors to this website the right to share and distribute the works by Saeide Mirzaei found on this website, as long as they give appropriate credit, do not use them for commercial purposes, and do not modify or create derivative works based on them. This license provides a clear and simple way for visitors to use and share the content on this website while protecting the integrity of the original works.

Let’s connect and explore how we can collaborate.

Saeide Mirzaei

Instructional Designer

All works on this website by Saeide Mirzaei are licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. The Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) grants visitors to this website the right to share and distribute the works by Saeide Mirzaei found on this website, as long as they give appropriate credit, do not use them for commercial purposes, and do not modify or create derivative works based on them. This license provides a clear and simple way for visitors to use and share the content on this website while protecting the integrity of the original works.