Your linkedIn photo is supposed to highlight your professional status, not hurt!


Your profile picture can be one of the most important elements of your LinkedIn presence. People are looking at your LinkedIn profile and picture to check if you are suitable for a potential job, or offer for partnership, Business deal, an invitation to a certain event, etc. So they will actually see much more information than you feel you have uploaded. People are visual! Most people receive 80% of the information with eyes and 70% of our impression is based on non-verbal aspects.  A no picture LinkedIn profile gives impression of a suspicious  identity, or a low self confidence ( is the candidate ugly?), or trying to hide something, or a i-don’t-care attitude towards the power of social media, or not organized, the negatives can add up. Not putting a photo is almost a disaster, since 99% of the time, you would not be entertained at all.



Now that’s its settled that we absolutely must have a picture, I would like to remind you that it is the first impression you make on your potential professional network that you are about to build. LinkedIn gives you a platform for image building and a further ticket to a serious professional career for life.  For any candidate it is the key element to get invited for a job interview. If you are not yet convinced, picture this situation. If you were a recruiter browsing through a sea of potential CV’s through LinkedIn, would you select a CV and Picture which is technically not appealing:  Meaning it is

–              not sharp

–              low  resolution

–              too dark (underexposed) – you can see the city behind  but cannot see the face

–              too bright (overexposed) – Candidate and  backdrop is washed out.

–              dark face, too bright backdrop (combination of the two above) too noisy (too high ISO)

–              no light in the eyes

–              shadows in the eyes – Looks like candidate had a fight last night in a bar.

–              grey wall although it may have been intended white

–              B&W picture which is only grey (whashed out, no white, no black)

–              amateur flash

–              red eyes

–              zoomed too much (can see pixels or nothing)

–              part of the head is cut out

–              candidate’s  glasses are reflecting and you cannot see the eyes properly

Believe me YOU WON’T !

This is serious business. Have you ever had the experience of first seeing someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn picture online and then meeting them in person only to find that they look completely different. It is startling and makes you feel awkward. It sometimes makes you forget the questions you planned to ask, and you first want to check their credibility.

Typically, we’d recommend having a professional photographer take your headshot. A professional will make sure the lighting is flattering and that you are putting your best foot (or rather face) forward. On average, this will cost you between $100-$200.

But in case you don’t have the budget, you can choose from your recent photos which depict your sincere face and attitude.

Now a few tips on which picture to NOT put. A few tips here regarding Pose, Location, Props, Backdrop will help you weed out the unsuitable pictures of yourself, and select the right one. Do Not put picture of yourself :

–              wearing sunglasses

–              wearing swimsuit

–              on a beach (or other holidays)

–              in a street

–              in a car (ONLY if you are a car dealer or are you a car racer)

–              at a party

–              which has others  chopped out

–              holding glass of wine – well, well

–              revealing pose (showing too much, ladies?)

–              your bold head is too shiny

–              wedding portrait (really?)

–              in a group photo (which one are you?)

–              something is growing from your head (check backdrop)

–              from your school/college days

So, make sure your LinkedIn profile picture is up-to-date (within the past 1 year , at max) and reflects how you look on a daily basis – meaning the right hair and makeup to show your decent self. And lastly, flash the most genuine smile you have!


Thanks to Thomas Lewis, Mark Sims, Kimberly Whiley, Colin, Carmen, Eleanor McColl and Yoyo for their model release.



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