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10 Tips for Choosing a LinkedIn Profile Photo

By | 08.15.13
Good examples of LinkedIn profile photos

You know that LinkedIn can benefit your business, but to get the full benefits you need to have a photo, and it needs to be right for you and your business. Here are some tips:

  1. While a professional photographer or equipment are ideal, they aren’t necessary. Mainly, all you need is good light. Daytime light is natural and flattering. Avoid using shots where the light source is behind you, darkening your face.
  2. The photo should be fairly tight. You want it to at least be a three-quarters shot, anything farther away than that doesn’t translate well on LinkedIn.
  3. Avoid having other people in the shot – even in the background. Avoid cropping them out too. A crop job is usually pretty evident.
  4. Having the background of your work environment in your photo can be a nice touch, but it may be difficult to discern depending on how tight the photo is of your face. It’s up to you whether you feel it adds something substantial.
  5. Your attire should reflect the image you’d like to project. A lawyer may want to wear a suit, but that probably wouldn’t make sense for a plumber. You don’t have to be in your work clothes, but there shouldn’t be a vast divide between what you wear in your LinkedIn photo and what you wear on the job.
  6. Don’t be afraid to show your age. If you show up at an interview and are clearly 15 years older than your LinkedIn image, you’re going to come off as dishonest. Age means you have more experience. So use a recent photo and own that experience!
  7. Don’t be afraid of bright colors – they can help you stand out. But avoid any clothing that’s busy.
  8. There have been some cases of identity theft where photos were lifted from social media sites. To avoid this, it’s best your face is at a angle, rather than straight on, like it would appear on your driver’s license.
  9. Don’t wear sunglasses — unless you sell them for a living. Sunglasses are a type of barrier, and you don’t want to put one up on a professional network.
  10. Smile!  Or at least, don’t frown.

Of note: LinkedIn can be finicky when it comes to uploading photos. If you have difficulty, crop the photo to a square size and use Firefox for the upload.

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