People form an immediate impression about you when they view your LinkedIn profile and the most visible element is your LinkedIn profile picture. The worst thing you can do on LinkedIn is to not have a profile picture, and the second worst thing you can do is have a profile picture that leaves an unprofessional impression for people you want to connect with and influence. Plus, LinkedIn research has shown that profiles with a picture are seven times more likely to be viewed. Since your profile picture represents your online brand and identity, it is critical to make sure your profile picture is the best it can be whether you are actively looking for a job or planning to look in the future.
So, what can you do to make sure your profile pictures represents your personal brand?
Check out these tips and examples of professional and not-so-professional profile pictures. We also recommend that show your picture to several others and incorporate their feedback before uploading it to LinkedIn. The simplest advice is to look at your photo and ask yourself, would you hire this person?
Professional LinkedIn Profile Picture Checklist
- Take a front-facing head shot photo from shoulders up
- Smile with confidence and energy
- Make sure Well lit from the front
- Use a background that does not distract
- Dress to impress in a style that is standard for your industry
- Square pictures are best – the LinkedIn guidelines suggest a photo ranging from 200×200 pixels up to 4000×4000 pixels
Examples of Professional LinkedIn Profile Pictures
Avoid These Common LinkedIn Profile Mistakes
- Don’t use party pictures or wear sunglasses
- Don’t use a cartoon or avatar for your picture
- Don’t include other people, family members or pets in your photo
- Don’t use obvious selfies or screenshots from your computer
- Don’t use badly lit pictures
- Don’t use a full length picture or body shot
Examples of Unprofessional LinkedIn Profile Pictures
You should also check out these other recent AppleOne blog posts with LinkedIn advice:
- The Best LinkedIn Advice
- 7 Smart LinkedIn Habits for Successful Job Seekers
- How Are You Using LinkedIn?
- 4 Social Media Tips for Job Seekers