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Nailing your LinkedIn Profile Photo

The all-important LinkedIn Profile photograph. It's so easy to get right, but oh so easy to get it horribly wrong! Linkedin research has shown, "just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others" and if this is the case, why not ensure it's the best photograph you can possibly have for a business networking site.

Adding a photo to your profile makes you 36 times more likely to receive messages on LinkedIn - Expanded Ramblings

When it comes to choosing a photograph, you don't always have to go for a professional snap, but you can ensure you're on the right track by starting with a high resolution and friendly profile photograph.

LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more profile views - Expanded Ramblings

I've taken a look at some of my connections profile photographs which I think are great, either in greyscale or colour these photos are clear and concise.

Five of my connections

Five of my connections have their profile photograph spot on, using very clear and easy to view photographs with a mixture of colour and greyscale. Ruth and Luciano have used an image with a background but have been careful to ensure they are the center of the photograph, whereas Kat, Marsha and Peter have gone for a plain background. All these styles work well as they come across as friendly but still have that professional feel to them.

Doing it Wrong

There are quite a few profile photographs on Linkedin which don't quite hit the mark, or are just plain inappropriate. When choosing your photograph, try to stay away from holiday snaps, photographs with other people or your Children, no matter how cute they are.

Mega close ups or selfies, sexy shots, Company Logos, badly cropped images and strange backgrounds. People want to be able to see you, so no long distance photographs, photographs which are too small, wearing sunglasses or pixelated photos.

Too Small!

Ensure your photograph fits within Linkedin Size Guide. Check out "Adding or Changing Your Profile Photo" which will give you guidance on file type and size.

Too Old

This photograph is from 10 years ago and I certainly don't look like this anymore, meeting any of my connections for the first time, they might not recognise me. I should use a photograph which more clearly reflects who I am now.

Too Sexy

this is not a photograph which is appropriate for Linkedin, I'm trying to project a serious and professional image, not a party girl.


Although an OK photograph, it's not cropped well and you can clearly see my friends head. Either I need to ensure my cropping skills are updated or ditch it!

A Holiday snap

combined with sunglasses, is not an image which should be used on Linkedin, this is more of a Facebook profile photo.

Don't share

A cute photograph, but why have I included my Friend? Potential new connections will be confused as to which one is me.

7 Tips to Get it Right

If your budget won't cover a professional photographer, here are some tips for getting the right image:

  1. Ensure the photograph actually looks like you (Don't pick a photograph from 5-10 years ago)

  2. Go for a friendly expression

  3. Linkedin is a business network, wear business attire. Try to keep the patterns to a minimum, block colours work best

  4. Choose either a plain background or something that is not distracting

  5. Make sure you are the center of the photograph and your face takes up about 55 - 60% of the photo

  6. Choose a photograph which reflects you and your industry

  7. Ensure your photograph is high resolution and fits within the Linkedin size guide.


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