What does a professional LinkedIn photo look like?

Your photo is a very important part of your LinkedIn profile for a number of reasons. First of all, when you meet a LinkedIn contact in person for the first time, they will be able to recognize you because of your photo. Secondly, a photograph humanizes your profile, and makes you appear more approachable. Last, incorporating a quality photo into your LinkedIn profile will help you make the right impression and maximize the number of people who view your profile. Below, you can find some tips on how to take and select the best LinkedIn profile photo:

  • Pick the right photographer: select someone who can make you smile in a natural way, a warm, friendly smile will make you look accessible. If someone else is not available to take the photo, you can take a webshot of yourself using your computer’s camera. However, do not take the photo yourself using your phone or a handheld camera – self-photos often appear unprofessional.
  • Pick a head shot: because profile photos appear as small thumbnails on LinkedIn, your photo should be of only your head, neck, and a bit of your shoulders.
  • Dress professionally: typically this means a dress shirt or blouse, a shirt and tie, or even a suit. Choose solid dark colors like blue or black. Avoid white; it can make you appear washed out. Also, avoid wearing too much makeup, or any over-the-top, distracting hairstyles and jewelry.
  • Keep it simple: your photo should be of you, and only you. Do not include objects, pets, children or busy backgrounds.
  • Select a current photo: Use a current picture so people aren’t surprised when they meet you in person.
  • Be consistent: consistency is key. Therefore, it is a good idea to use the same photo for all your professional and social networking profile pictures. This will make you more easily recognizable.