Top 8 tips for awesome LinkedIn profile pictures - The Shoot Blog

LinkedIn is arguably the most powerful social media platform for promoting your own personal brand, and maintaining a strong profile is essential for cultivating success in your professional life. Gone are the days where LinkedIn was simply considered an online version of your resume, only to be paid any love or attention when the time came to jump ship from one job to the next.  While there are many things we can all do to improve our presence on LinkedIn, having a beautiful profile picture has got to be the most important. 

Here is’s Top 8 tips for your LinkedIn profile pictures

1. Have a photo!!

We hope this one is a no-brainer but you still see some many LinkedIn profiles that don’t have a picture.  According to LinkedIn’s own research having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others.

2. Have someone else take the photo.  

Selfies are no-nos when it comes to LinkedIn profile pictures! Not only are they too casual and therefore likely to come across as unprofessional, they will cause you to have an unnatural posture in the image and look just a little awkward. Not to mention you’ll be in reverse! You don’t want that.

Having a photographer, whether they are professional or not, will be a massive improvement on the selfie photo faux pas.  Not only will you look more relaxed and comfortable in your image, they will be able to direct you and your pose, letting you know when there’s a hair out of place and getting the shadows right. If you’re in need of a photographer to help you with this The Shoot has hundreds of local and affordable photographers to choose from.

3. Make sure your photo is fit for purpose  

Before you decide on the sort of photo you want to have, ask yourself, what do I hope to communicate to potential employers or colleagues through my LinkedIn profile? 

If you’re working in a strict corporate environment such as an investment bank or a legal setting then the answer to this should be pretty easy.  You need to come across as professional, sincere and trustworthy. This means professional attire and a clean plain background are the way to go. 

If you’re in a creative or startup/tech environment then the last thing you’ll want to do is look too corporate.  Here, you’ll want to bring more of your personality into it through the use of colour, casual attire and interesting backgrounds.  Shots of you doing your thing can work well too. 

4. Let yourself and your smile shine through! 

Remember, it’s not a passport photo! You need to come across as approachable and enthusiastic and your photo is the number one thing on your LinkedIn profile that is going to communicate that.  People will be looking for someone they’d like to work or do business with and when they see your big old smile they will immediately warm to you. 

5. Lighting

Where you have your photoshoot is going to have a pretty major impact on the lighting that’s available to you. If your shoot is outdoors you will be using natural light which can be quite stark and throw a lot of harsh shadows.  So pick a location or time of day where the natural light is a little softer. If indoors make sure there is enough natural light and that it is not too dark as this will appear to lower the quality/resolution of your image. 

A studio is a much easier place to control the lighting and if you’re in one chances are you have picked a pro photographer who knows what they are doing – so you’ll be fine! 

6. High Resolution

Your photo must be Hi-Res.  No if not buts. Moving on…

7. This photo is of you and no one else (furry animals included) 

Your LinkedIn profile, your photo.  You don’t want to cause any confusion as to whom in the image this profile belongs to.

8. 60% of the image should be your face

While we’re open to a little bit of flexibility here, your best bet is to make sure your face occupies more than half of the image.  Look forward, into the camera with your chin up. Let’s keep the deep, in thought glance into the distance for instagram.

Photo Credit: Andrew J

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