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Top 10 Tips for the Perfect LinkedIn Profile Photo

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

The very first thing that recruiters and future connections see is your LinkedIn head shot (even before reading about all the valuable experience you bring). Your LinkedIn profile photo is your first impression with not only recruiters, but with future colleagues, industry experts and business contacts. It’s the first step in creating your personal brand, so it’s important that you put your best face forward!

A few important statistics:

  • LinkedIn has more than 775 million users

  • 87% of recruiters actively use LinkedIn to find talent

  • Professional headshots will get you noticed more:

  • 21 times more profile views than those of other users

  • 9 times more connection requests

  • 36 times more direct messages


  • 9% of LinkedIn photos are selfies

  • 15% crop other people out of their photos

  • 93% of users don’t accept invites from people without an image

Here are my top 10 tips to help optimize your LinkedIn profile photo:

1. You should renew your LinkedIn profile headshot every 3 years. Or, after any major appearance changes (i.e., a dramatic change in hair style). Your photo should reflect what you look like today!

2. Your profile photo should be head and shoulders only, with your face taking up 60% of the photograph space. Photos that are taken from far away, on the top of a mountain, or with full-body views shouldn’t be used. This photo is an introduction to you. The clearer the image, the better!

3. Dress in classic attire. Since your profile photo will be head and shoulders, you’ll only have to worry about your top. A simple black or white shirt works great. Also, solid color tops such as ice blue work perfect. Try to avoid busy patterns or anything that will distract from your face and smile. The focus of the photo needs to be on you, and not distracting clothing choices.

4. Things not to do: If you’re going to use existing photos:

o Don’t use selfies or filters.

o Don’t crop yourself out of a group photo.

o Don’t use a photo of you participating in your favorite hobby.

o Don’t use a photo that includes your spouse or children.

o Don’t use an image that shows you holding your favorite glass of Chardonnay!

Your headshot is your calling card. Make sure it’s professional and free from any other distractions. Be the only person in the photo! You don’t want to scare away potential employers. If your headshot looks cheap, it could tell employers that you aren’t serious about your career.

5. Make sure your photo looks like you and reflects your personality. If you usually wear glasses, make sure you wear them for your profile photo. Your hair should be the way you would wear it to work (not an up-do taken at a wedding). And your make-up should look office appropriate (not like you’re ready to spend a night out on the town).

6. Avoid uploading low-res or blurry images. The ultimate size for LinkedIn profile photos is 400 x 400 pixels, and you can upload up to a maximum of 8MG. A 1” x 1” photo is perfect, and an 8” x 10” photo will also do the trick (but will lose the bottom portion of the image).

7. Go easy on photo retouching! It’s ok for a photographer to reduce your wrinkles. A little bit of softening is ok. And removing blemishes that popped up overnight is ok too. But too much smoothing of the skin is un-natural. If you perspire because you’re nervous in front of the camera, a professional photographer can reduce the shine in photoshop.

8. Smile! A study of 800 profile pictures found that people view you as more likable, competent, and influential if you smile in your picture. And don’t be afraid to smile with your eyes. Your eyes should be focused, alive and energized. Try not to look glazed over or like a deer in the headlights!

9. Pay attention to backdrops, framing & lighting. Choose simple classic backdrops such as plain black, white, or grey. Don’t select a backdrop that distracts from your face (unless the backdrop is current job related). Make sure the background is blurred so that the attention is on your face, and not pulled away by something else.

10. It’s important that the photo makes you look professional, hard-working, approachable, and trustworthy. Once you have your profile photo, ask friends/colleagues to give you three words that your profile photo says to them. Make sure the photo provides you with a reflection that you are trying to achieve for your personal brand.

A good headshot photo will help people identify you and will show that you take your career & business seriously. There’s a lot to keep in mind when capturing your corporate headshot. Hiring a professional headshot photographer will help you capture the best image to represent your personal brand.

At Diane Gordon Photography, we can also come to you. Do you have a sales team in need of a consistent look and feel for your website? We can help!

For more details, contact Diane Gordon Photography for a personalized quotation!


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